RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. (April 2, 2013) -- Junior Sophia Popov won her USC record-tying fifth career individual title while her four teammates joined her in the top 10 as the Trojans’ No. 1 women’s golf team ran away with the SDSU Farms Invitational for its third straight win on Tuesday (April 2) at The Farms G.C. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
USC finished at a combined 11-over 875 (298-289-288) to win by 21 strokes over second-place Arizona (896) while Pepperdine was third (904). The victory was not only the Trojans’ third in a row but the fourth in the past five events.The last time USC won three or more in a row was when the Trojans closed the 2008 season with four straight victories, a streak that culminated with the 2008 NCAA title. USC last won four times in a season in 2011.
Popov finished at 1-over 217 (74-69-74) to claim her first title this year. She had three as a freshman and one as a sophomore. She was 2-under through 10 holes today before a bogey on 11 and a double on 16 helped Arizona’s Manon Gidali -- in the same pairing as Popov – close to within one stroke. But Gildali was unable to make up the final stroke and settled for second.
Popov’s fifth win ties her with Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid for the most ever at USC.
Freshmen Annie Park finished alone in third at 3-over 219 (77-71-71), sophomore Doris Chen (75-75-71) and freshman Kyung Kim (72-76-73) tied for fourth at 4-over 221 and junior Rachel Morris tied for 10 at 8-over 224 (77-74-73).Park secured her fourth top 8 in five events thanks in part to her four-birdie day. She was challenging Popov for the lead until a smattering of late bogeys.
Kim had a pair of birdies today to offset an early double and a bogey on 12 to nail down her fourth top 7 finish this year (coming within the last five events). Chen turned in a five-birdie day including one on 18 to finish the round under par. It was her third top 10 this year and fifth in the top 16.Morris’s tie for 10th was a season-best (and her second-best finish ever as a Trojan) and her fifth top 22 this season. In an incredibly steady round, she had 17 pars and one bogey (on 16).
USC will try to continue it hot streak at the annual PING/ASU Invitational, April 12-14, at the Karsten G.C. in Tempe, Ariz.