Three USC Women's Golfers To Compete In Rio Olympics|
July 19, 2016
Two-time All-American first teamer and LPGA star Candie Kung (Chinese Taipei), senior All-American Tiffany Chan (Hong Kong) and former part-time starter Victoria Alimonda Lovelady (Brazil) all have secured berths in the 60-woman field set to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in a sport making its return to the Games for the first time since 1904.
Kung, an LPGA veteran since 2002 with almost $7 million in career earnings, finished 18th on the Olympic rankings chart while Chan, one of only three amateurs to qualify, was ranked 56th. Lovelady was ranked 61st after last week’s final rankings, one spot removed from the field. But fate smiled on the home country favorite and, after two Dutch golfers dropped out, the Brazilian native captured one of the vacated spots. She is ranked 58th in the Olympic rankings now (Chan moved up to 54th after the drops).
“We are excited to have three of our athletes competing in the Olympics next month,” said USC women’s golf coach Andrea Gaston. “Now that golf has returned to the Olympics, it is a tremendous honor to finally have our players among the many other Trojan Olympic greats representing their respective countries.”
Lovelady (formerly Victoria Alimonda), from Sao Paulo, Brazil, was a two-year Trojan (2008-09) after transferring from Santa Barbara C.C. She was a member of USC’s second national title team as a 2008 junior, playing in four events (starting once), and started twice as a 2009 senior. She is a three-year veteran of the Ladies European Tour (2014-2016) and played professionally on the Symetra Tour in 2012 and 2013.
Chan earned WGCA All-American second team honors as a first-year Trojan this year after transferring from Daytona State College. She was a team co-leader in stroke average (71.97) in 2016, tying for eighth on USC’s all-time season chart, and helped Troy to the NCAA Championships match play quarterfinals. Chan posted five top 10 finishes, including three in a row – all in the postseason – to close the year, and had seven top 14 results to go with five rounds in the 60s. Chan tied for fourth at the NCAA Stanford Regional at 2-under 211 (71-69-71), tied for 10th at 3-under 213 (67-72-74) during USC’s win at the Pac-12 Championships and led USC at the NCAA Championships with another 10th at 2-under 286 (71-71-74-70).
Kung (2000-01) was a two-time All-American and two-time All-Pac-12 first teamer as well as the 2000 Pac-12 individual champion for the Trojans. As a 2000 freshman, she set USC records for stroke average (72.6) and low round (65) while posting seven top 5 finishes and eight in the top 10. As a 2001 sophomore, she opened the season with seven straight top 5 finishes and had eight on the season, including a tie for third at the 2001 NCAA Championships. She has four career LPGA wins and more than 50 top 10 finishes.
The four-round Olympic golf competition is set for Aug. 17-20.