May 23, 2016
May 23, 2016
Junior Tiffany Chan turned in a 2-under 70 to finish a team-best 2-under for the tournament, leading No. 1 USC to a third-place finish after 72 holes of the 2016 NCAA Women’s Golf Championships stroke play on Monday (May 23) and a spot in the final eight-team match play bracket to decide the title starting Tuesday at the Eugene (Ore.) C.C.
The Trojans, seeking their fourth NCAA title, finished a combined 2-under 1150 (289-280-291-290) and will square off against sixth-place Duke in the quarterfinals tomorrow morning in Eugene. UCLA finished stroke play first at 8-under with Stanford second at 5-under. Following USC in the top eight were Washington, Virginia, Duke, South Carolina and host Oregon.
Should the Trojans win in the quarterfinals, they would face the winner of the second-place Stanford and seventh-place South Carolina matchup.
USC’s third-place finish is its eighth in the stroke play top 3 in the last 9 years, which includes wins in 2008 and 2013 and a first in stroke play in 2015.
A year ago, USC finished as the top seed in the first year the NCAA decided the team title in this format and defeated Washington in the quarterfinals before losing to Stanford in the semifinals.
Chan finished 10th at 2-under 286 (71-71-74-70) after a five-birdie final round, including a string of four straight birdies between holes 6 and 9. Chan’s 10th-place finish is her fifth top 10 this season and her third straight, all in the postseason.
Junior Karen Chung tied for 27th at 2-over 290 (73-69-74-74), sinking two birdies during her fourth round.
Senior Kyung Kim played the final stroke play round of her Trojan career and tied for 36th at 4-over 292 (71-70-77-74). She had two birdies in her final round, on 15 and 17, before finishing with a par on 18. She finishes her career tied for the most rounds in the 60s as a Trojan with 22.
Junior Gabriella Then finished tied for 46th at 5-over 293 (74-76-71-72) after a final round that included two birdies and 10 straight pars to close her day. Freshman Robynn Ree tied for 59th at 8-over 296 (78-70-72-76).
USC enters the match play championship bracket with an 8-1 record this year in match play action. Its only loss came in tiebreaker against UCLA in the semifinals of the Liz Murphey Invitational, dropping the margins of wins, 11-7, to the Bruins. One of its eight match play victories came in a tiebreaker over Oregon in the quarterfinals of the SDSU March Mayhem at The Farms with a 9-4 edge in wins. USC defeated Duke, 4-1, in the East Lake Cup final and downed Stanford, 4-1, in the March Mayhem semifinals.