No. 2 USC Crushes Field, Wins Annika Intercollegiate With School-Record 36-Under

    Karen Chung (left) with Annika Sorenstam after Chung won the Annika Intercollegiate at 12-under 204.
    Sept. 29, 2015

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    No. 2 USC women's golf team completed one of its most dominating performances in school history at the season-opening Annika Intercollegiate, winning by 23 strokes at a school-record 36-under while junior Karen Chung won the individual title at 12-under on a rain-soaked final round in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday (Sept. 29).

    The Trojans, against a field packed with many of the top teams in the nation, placed four golfers in the top 7 to win at 36-under 828 (276-271-281), 23 strokes better than second-place Arizona (851) and five off the NCAA record of 41-under. Arkansas was third (854), Duke was fourth (856) and Texas A&M was fifth (859).

    "What an incredible record-breaking performance by our team. It's exciting to kick off our season this way," USC 20th-year coach Andrea Gaston said. "I have never seen so many darts thrown at pins and a lot of red numbers. As a coach, you dream of having a day like this. The Trojans were blessed with three incredible days and I'm really proud of them."

    USC was not quite as hot as its school-record tying second-round, due in part to off-and-on downpours, but still managed to post the low round of the day as it won its second season-opener in three seasons.

    Chung claimed her third career collegiate title at 12-under 204 (68-68-68), the second-lowest 54-hole total in school history, coming from behind to edge freshman teammate Robynn Ree, who took second at 10-under 206 (68-66-72).

    Chung won with style Tuesday, holing in her second shot from 180 yards out for an eagle on 18 to get to 12-under, USC's best 54-hole total since Chung's 11-under to win the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in March. She also had four birdies on the day.

    "Starting off the season winning by 23 strokes is pretty spectacular," Chung said. "I can't wait to go play in our next event."

    Regarding her 180-yard eagle, Chung said, "I thought I shanked it, but I guess it went in."

    Irene Cho holds the USC record for most under par on a par 72 course over 54 holes, a 13-under 203 (70-64-69) at the Guadalajara (Mexico) Invitational. Dewi Claire Schreefel won the 2007 Fall Preview at the par 73 New Mexico Championship Course at 15-under 204.

    Ree completed a steady final round with two birdies and two bogeys to earn second-place. She had a chance to tie Chung on 18, but bogeyed the hole, one of only two bogeys all tournament.

    Tiffany Chan, a junior college transfer also making her Trojan debut, shook off back-to-back double bogeys on 5 and 6 with a strong back 9 to tie for fourth at 8-under 208 (71-65-72). She went 3-under on the back 9, including birdies on 14, 15 and 16, to get back to even for the round.

    Junior Gabriella Then tied for seventh at 6-under 210 (69-72-69). She was even on her front and 3-under on the back. It was her fourth top 10 in the last five events and seventh in the last nine.

    Senior Victoria Morgan rounded out USC's efforts with a tie for 53rd at 14-over 230 (74-77-79). Morgan replaced senior Kyung Kim, who missed the event while resting a wrist injury.

    USC returns to action Oct. 5-6 at the Windy City Collegiate Classic, an event it has won the past two years.

    The Trojans have put together an impressive amount of wins over the past three-plus seasons. USC has finished first in 18 of its past 30 outings, 21 of 34 and 22 of 36 dating back to the fall of 2012.

    USC won five times last year, marking the third straight year it has won at least that many events. USC won nine times in 2014 and seven in 2013. Troy has also won at least four events in six of the past eight years.

    Chung had three rounds in the 60s for all of the 2014-15 season, a total she has already matched this season.

    She is the first Trojan to string together three straight rounds in the 60s in the same 54-hole event since Kyung Kim opened the 2013-14 season in the same fashion. Doris Chen also had three rounds in the 60s at the close of that same season, but it was as part of the 72-hole NCAA Championships.