No. 4 USC Set For Mason Rudolph Championship

Sept. 24, 2008

The No. 4 USC women's golf team, the 2008 defending NCAA champion which has finished no lower than sixth in 15 consecutive tournaments, embarks on its second trip of the season at the eighth annual Mason Rudolph Women's Championship on the South Course of the Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn., Friday through Sunday (Sept. 26-28).

The 17-team field includes No. 7 Alabama, Arizona, No. 1 Arizona State, Arkansas, No. 13 Auburn, Chattanooga, No. 15 Duke, Florida, No. 11 Oklahoma State, Purdue, Stanford, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Central Florida, No. 16 UCLA, No. 21 Wake Forest and USC. (Rankings by

The South Course is a par 72 and 6,217 yards. Teams will play 18 holes each day. Live results is available here.

The five-person lineup for the Trojans includes juniors Belen Mozo and Stefanie Endstrasser, sophomore Lizette Salas, senior Victoria Alimonda and freshman Jennifer Song. It is Alimonda's first action of the young season. USC begins play with Duke and Alabama at 9:30 a.m. (EST).

USC opened the 2008 season at this event, tying for sixth. Mozo was USC's highest finisher, tying for 10th.

USC has five consecutive top 2 finishes, 11 consecutive top 5 finishes, 15 consecutive top 6 finishes and 21 consecutive top 10 finishes.

The Women of Troy have finished among the top five teams at the NCAA championships in four of the past six years, including titles in 2003 and 2008 ... USC, which made its 17th consecutive NCAA appearance last season and its 11 straight in the championships final, led wire-to-wire in both the 2008 NCAA final and West Regional. The NCAA title was its fourth consecutive tournament win, a first in program history ... USC had five All-Americans in 2008 for the first time in school history (Dewi Claire Schreefel, Paola Moreno, Belen Mozo, Stefanie Endstrasser, Lizette Salas).

Jr. Belen Mozo
Junior Belen Mozo is a two-time All-American (first team in 2008, honorable mention in 2007) who led USC last season with seven top 10 finishes and a team-best stroke average of 72.29. She has finished no lower than a tie for 18th since the 2007 Pac-10 Championships, a streak that spans 14 events. In her first event as a junior, she tied for 14th at the 2009 Fall Preview.

Jr. Stefanie Endstrasser
Junior Stefanie Endstrasser earned All-American second-team honors as a 2008 sophomore, her first season with the Trojans (she transferred to USC after playing for Purdue in 2007). She finished with the third-best stroke average on the team last season (73.55) and had five top 16 finishes in seven outings. She tied for 35th in USC's first event this season.

So. Lizette Salas
Sophomore Lizette Salas earned All-American second-team honors as a 2008 freshman. Salas posted seven top 15 finishes last season, including a tie for 15th at the NCAA Championships and a sixth at the 2008 Pac-10 Championships. In the 2009 opener, she set USC bests with a third-place finish and a final-round 68. Her previous USC low was a 71.

Sr. Victoria Alimonda
Senior Victoria Alimonda saw action in four events as a 2008 junior. She posted a season-best tie for 50th at the Kent Youel Invitational and had a season-low round of 72 at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge.

Jr. Caroline Kim
Junior Caroline Kim played in two tournaments as a sophomore last season. She also played in USC's first 2009 outing, taking 57th.

Fr. Jennifer Song
Freshman Jennifer Song, one of the top international amateur players to join the NCAA ranks in 2009, tied for ninth in her USC debut at the 2009 Fall Preview with a 2-over 218 effort.

Sr. Shelcie Takenouchi
Senior Shelcie Takenouchi played in two tournaments as a 2008 junior.

Head Coach Andrea Gaston
Andrea Gaston is in her 13th year as the Head Coach for USC women's golf and has led USC into the NCAA Championships final each of the past 11 years. One of the most successful coaches in the nation, she has guided USC to two national titles (2003 and 2008), five NCAA regional championships and one Pac-10 crown. Three Trojans (Jennifer Rosales, 1998, Mikaela Parmlid, 2003, and Dewi Claire Schreefel, 2006) have won NCAA individual titles under her watch and two have won the Honda Award for women's golf player of the year (Parmlid in 2003 and Irene Cho in 2006).


Fall Preview: USC turned in the low final round and rallied to a second-place finish at the season-opening 2008 Fall Preview at the Caves Valley G.C. in Owings Mill, Md., on Sept. 8. The Trojans combined for a 3-under 285 to wrap up the tournament and finished at 16-over 880 (298-297-285). They were eight strokes behind first-place Arizona State (872). Sophomore Lizette Salas's final-round 68 was her lowest round as a Trojan (it was 71 previously) and helped her finish at 1-under 215 (73-74-68), good for third overall, her best finish as a Trojan. Junior Belen Mozo carded a 2-under final round to move into a tie for 14th at 4-over 200 (76-74-70). Her finish extends her streak of top 18 finishes to 14.

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