No. 6 USC Weathers Tough Conditions, Tied For 9th, To Open NCAAs|
May 19, 2017
Results Senior Victoria Morgan, in her nationals debut, carded a 4-over 76 while fellow senior Tiffany Chan posted a 77 to lead No. 6 USC to a tie for ninth during a miserably cold, wet and windy first round at the 2017 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., on Friday (May 19).
The Trojans, in their national-best 20th straight NCAA Championships that saw high winds mixed with constant rain and temperatures in the 40s, combined for a 27-over 315, 14 back of leader and nearby neighbor Northwestern. Kent State was second at 15-over 303 while four teams were tied for third at 23-over 311. USC is tied with Purdue and Michigan, among 15 teams within 10 strokes of each other between third and 17th.
“We knew scores would be high due to extremely difficult conditions,” USC 21st-year coach Andrea Gaston said. “We hung in there and we’re proud of the team for staying patient. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We look forward to getting after it tomorrow.”
The top 15 of 24 teams after 54 holes will advance to a final round Monday and the top eight teams from there will play in a match play tournament for the title starting Tuesday.
Morgan, an All-Pac-12 first teamer in her first year as a starter, is tied for 13th, four back. She was even through 7 before a triple bogey on 8, her only serious misstep on a day where missteps were the norm. She birdied 10 and 11 as well en route to a 1-over back 9.
“It felt like it was all about survival today,” Morgan said. “I’m encouraged by how we did as a team. The cold, windy and rainy conditions were some of the most grueling I’ve ever seen. It’s so easy to mentally give up in weather like that, but we definitely did not. I’m proud of the squad.”
Chan had three birdies during her round, including two on 15 and 16 as she finished her back 9 at 1-under en route to a tie for 19th.
Freshman Muni He finished at 8-over 80 with a 3-over front 9 and a 5-over back. Senior Gabriella Then finished with a 10-over 82, the lone Trojan with no birdies or anything worse than a bogey. Sophomore Robynn Ree finished with an 11-over 83, though she shook off her 10-over front 9 with a 1-over on the back.
The Trojans are scheduled to tee off at 7:30 a.m. CT on Saturday with another day of cold, rain and winds expected.