Women On The Verge.....

May 22, 2003

W. Lafayette, Ind. - The USC women's golf team is just 18 holes away from becoming the first Trojan team--men's or women's--to win an NCAA golf team title.

The Women of Troy had their best day of the tournament on Thursday, shooting a five-over-par 293 to forge a seven stroke lead over Pepperdine heading into Friday's final round of the 2003 NCAA Women's Golf Championships held at Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.

USC's round was the second-lowest team round of the tournament. The Women of Troy have a three-round total of 901 to Pepperdine's 908. Oklahoma State is in third (912), while Texas is fourth (917) and Florida is fifth (918).

'This is uncharted territory for us,' said USC coach Andrea Gaston. 'But it's where we want to be. Our team has a lot of confidence right now. We just have to go out and continue to play like we have for one more day.'

USC rode the strong play of All-American Mikaela Parmlid, who shot a two-under 70 to move into a tie for first with Andrea Vander Lende of Florida. Both women have a 54-hole total of 220. If Parmlid can hang on, she'll join Jennifer Rosales as one of two USC women's golfers to win an NCAA individual crown.

'I've been dreaming about this for a while,' said Parmlid, who has won a USC record-tying four career titles. 'I've been waiting to be on a team strong enough to challenge for the championship. It feels really good to be in it at the end, to have a chance.'

Annie Thurman of Oklahoma State is right on Parmlid's heels. She shot 74 today to end at 221, one stroke back in second. Lindsey Wright of Pepperdine is fourth (224), while Kari Damron of Purdue and Virada Nirapathpongporn of Duke are tied for fifth (225).

USC got another outstanding round out of Irene Cho. The freshman from La Habra, Calif., shot a one-over 73 today and sits in a tie for eighth with a total of 226. Junior Anna Rawson dipped a bit with a 77, but still is tied for 16th at 228.

Senior Becky Lucidi rallied from a slow start to shoot a two-over 74. She is tied for 35th at 231. Freshman Tanya Dergal shot four-over 76 and is tied for 42nd at 232.

USC begins its final 18 holes on Friday at 1 p.m. CT from the 1st tee.

The tourney can be followed live at www.golfstat.com.

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