Pac-10 Announces Women's Golf Individual Honors
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- In a vote of the league's coaches, USC senior Lizette Salas was named Pac-10 Golfer of the Year, USC freshman Sophia Popov was named Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and UCLA head coach Carrie Forsyth was named Coach of the Year, Commissioner Larry Scott announced today.
With this year's honor, Salas becomes the first two-time Pac-10 Golfer of the Year honoree, after winning the award in 2009. She finished the 2011 season as the second-ranked individual in the country, according to Golfweek. The Azusa, Calif., native became first four-time All-American. Salas had four top 3 finishes this season, including a second place finish as she led the Trojans to their second straight regional crown in 2011. She finished tied for 22nd at the NCAA Championships. In 2011 she made the All-Pac-10 first team for the third-straight season. Salas finishes USC with two first-team and two second-team All-American honors. She led USC in stroke average in 2011 with a 71.87, the fourth-best season average in school history (she also owns the third-best). She had seven top 7 finishes this year and eight in the top 14. She was ranked as high as No. 2 this year. She tied for sixth at the 2011 Pac-10s and was second at the NCAA West Regional. Her 14 career rounds in the 60s is second-most ever at USC.
Popov, the 2011 Pac-10 Individual Champion at the Pac-10 Championships, had a stellar freshman campaign. The Weingarten, Germany native finished third in the nation, according to Golfweek. Popov was also named the NGCA Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second under Trojan head coach Andrea Gaston. The German native who had a streak of eight straight top 7 finishes heading into the NCAAs, won titles at the Pac-10 Championships, PING/ASU Invitational and the Pac-10/SEC Challenge and was third at the NCAA West Regional. Popov was ranked as high as No. 2 this season and her 72.16 stroke average was the seventh-best in school history. She had a team-best seven rounds in the 60s. Popov becomes the third Trojan to be bestowed with the honor, following Jennifer Song in 2009 and teammate Salas in 2008.
UCLA head coach Carrie Forsyth, who guided the UCLA women's golf team to their third NCAA championship this season, was voted Pac-10 Coach of the Year. Forsyth led the Bruins to six tournament victories during the 2011 season including wins at the NCAA Central Regional and the NCAA Championship. Overall, she now has 40 tournament victories as head coach of the UCLA women's golf team. The is her fourth career Pac-10 Coach of the Year honor and sixth overall for the Bruins.