USC Athletics photo
Behind medalist Amari Avery
, USC won its first event of the 2022-23 season on Tuesday (Oct. 4) at the Windy City Collegiate Classic at the Exmoor C.C. in Highlands Park, Ill.
The Trojans took a nine-stroke lead into Tuesday's final round at Exmoor and fired a 1-under 287 in the final round to hold off the hard-charging South Carolina Gamecocks to capture their third Windy City Classic in the last eight years.
At 3-over 867 (290-290-287), the Women of Troy posted a nine-stroke victory over the sixth-ranked Gamecocks, which closed to within five strokes of the lead before finishing second at 12-over 876.
Avery seized control of the tournament on Monday after rounds 67 (-5) and 69 (-3) gave her a comfortable seven-shot lead heading into the final round.
The sophomore survived a final round 74 to hold off Hannah Darling
of South Carolina, who made birdies on three of her final six holes for a 4-under 68, only to finish one back of Avery at 5-under 211.
It's the seventh top-five finish for Darling in 13 career starts and her third runner-up finish in her young career as a Gamecock.
For Avery, it was her fourth win as a collegian, which ranks fourth on USC's career victory chart, two off the school record held by Annie Park.
USC sophomore Cindy Kou
registered her sixth top 10 of her young career by tying for seventh at 3-over 219 (72-75-72). Freshman Catherine Park
shot a final round 70 to move up into a tie for 12th at 5-over 221 (74-77-70) while junior Brianna Navarrosa
tied for 18th at 6-over 222 (77-74-71) after closing with a 1-under 71. Junior Christine Wang
tied for 24th at 8-over 224 (72-78-74).
The Trojans leave Exmoor with a much better taste in their mouths than a few weeks ago at the season-opening Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational at the University of New Mexico G.C. in Albuquerque, N.M., where they shot 17-over 881 (293-289-299) to finish eighth in a 17-team field.
"This was a really, really satisfying win coming off the last couple weeks of practice," said USC head coach Justin Silverstein. "We had to have some very difficult and honest conversations after the New Mexico event and I couldn't be happier with how this group responded. They worked very hard and very smart the past three weeks and they deserve this victory."
USC returns to action Oct. 10-12 at the Stephens Cup in Juno Beach, Fla.
USC Athletic Communications contributed to this report.
ABOUT THE Windy City Collegiate
54-hole women's college event hosted by
Northwestern University. Team (best four scores out of
five players each round) and individual competitions.
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