USC's women (USC Athletics photo)
USC’s women have a reputation for shining in the postseason. That continues, for the time being, as the Trojans won the Pac-12 Championship on Wednesday. In his first year as head coach, Justin Silverstein led his team to a wire-to-wire finish. USC picked up its sixth win of the season in the process.
“The girls did a great job managing their games today. They had really consistent iron play and had really good speed on the greens. We made tons of pars which is what we wanted. It was just a really good team effort,” Silverstein said.
For USC, it’s the seventh league title in program history, and at a venue with which the Trojans are familiar. USC finished third at Palos Verdes (Calif.) Golf Course in February at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.
On Wednesday, USC brought a seven-shot lead into the final round and logged its second-best score ever at Palos Verdes, a 2-under 282 that left the team 11 shots ahead of runner-up Arizona. USC was 1 under for 54 holes, and the only team under par.
“We had a good game plan entering the week and they followed it. I give them a lot of credit. A lot of times here you can get frustrated and buck your plan and go a different route. But they didn’t and stuck to it and executed really well.”
Three Trojans returned last week from the Augusta National Women’s Amateur – Allisen Corpuz, Alyaa Abdulghany and Jennifer Chang. Corpuz made the 36-hole cut at the event, finishing an eventual T-17 after an even-par 72 at Augusta National in the final round.
At the conference championship, sophomore Gabriela Ruffels led four Trojans who placed inside the top 7 individually. Ruffels, at 3 under, was solo third. She was 1-over through nine holes but played the back in 4 under for her fifth top-8 finish this year.
“I knew I had to stay patient today,” Ruffels said. “I was 1 over on the front and I knew there were opportunities on the back. I stayed patient and had four birdies on the back. I was happy with my play.”
Arizona finished second at 10-over 862 while Arizona State was third at 15-over 867. Both overtook Stanford in the final round as the Cardinal took fourth at 16-over 868. Arizona State’s Olivia Mehaffey won a one-hole playoff against Stanford’s Albane Valenzuela for the medalist honor after the duo tied for first at 4-under 209.
Information from USC Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE Pac-12 Women's Championship
54-hole stroke-play to decide the champion of the
Pacific Athletic Conference. Team (best four scores
of five players each round) and individual
View Complete Tournament Information