Women’s Golf | May 23, 2023
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – USC women’s golf earned a spot in the National Championship after besting No. 1 Stanford 3-1 in the NCAA Championship Semifinals at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, on May 23.
Sophomore Xin (Cindy) Kou, junior Christine Wang and junior Brianna Navarrosa earned the match points for the Women of Troy in the victory. These three helped USC reach its first National Championship in the Match Point Era (est. 2015).
The most significant win of the afternoon came from Navarrosa as she took on Stanford’s ace, Rose Zhang. Zhang entered into the matchup as the world’s No. 1 amateur player as she recently claimed the NCAA Individual National Championship. Navarrosa took that challenge and ran with it at the No. 5 spot, as she took the lead on hole one and never looked back. She would further her lead with birdies at holes No. 6 and No. 9, as she owned a three-hole advantage heading into the back nine. Navarrosa held her ground until she was the last person to enter the clubhouse and guaranteed the berth to the NCAA Championship with a 2&1 victory.
Kou would also handle her competition, taking up a three-hole lead in the front nine. Kou would earn the first point for USC, 2&1, and the second point overall, as she tied the score at 1-1. The sophomore started her afternoon by picking up a one-stroke lead with a birdie on No. 4 before adding to it on holes No. 6 and No. 7. Kou would finish first, as Wang would be the second player to enter the clubhouse with a point for the Trojans, 2-1. The junior played at the No. 3 spot and, unlike the others, was tied after the front nine. Wang came alive to start the back nine, as she capitalized on a Stanford double bogey. That would be the beginning of the end for the Cardinal. She would add to her lead with a birdie on No. 16 and finish the round without playing hole No. 18.
Freshman Catherine Park fell at the No. 1 spot, with a 2&1 finish, and sophomore Amari Avery would exit the course in an unfinished result after USC claimed the clinching point.
The victory is USC’s fifth NCAA match play win in program history, improving its record to 5-5. The Trojans improved to 1-1 all-time versus Stanford in the NCAA match play, as they previously lost against the Cardinal in the NCAA Semifinal in 2015.
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