Park Leads USC In NCAA Central Region Opener

May 6, 2010

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USC's lineup features three All-Americans, but it was two up-and-comers - sophomore Inah Park and freshman Cyna Rodriguez - who led the No. 4 Trojans into second place after the first round of the 2010 NCAA Championships Central Region at the Otter Creek. G.C. in Columbus, Ind., on Thursday (May 6).

The Trojans, making their 19th consecutive NCAA appearance with hopes of advancing to the NCAA final for the 13th year in a row, combined for an 11-over 299, two strokes back of No. 2 Arizona State (297) in the 24-team field. Purdue finished third (303) with Oregon and Oklahoma State tied for fourth (305), New Mexico sixth (306), Florida State seventh (308) and Mississippi and Kent State tied for eighth (309).

The top eight teams plus two individuals from each field will advance to the championship round, scheduled for May 18-21 at the Country Club of Landfall, hosted by North Carolina-Wilmington. USC had won three straight regional titles before a third place in 2009.

Park, making her first appearance for the Trojans since March 3, tied for eighth after the first round with a 1-over 73. The steady round, of her best this year, included a birdie on 13 and bogeys on 10 and 15.

Rodriguez, who is coming off of a tie for 10th at the 2010 Pac-10 Championships, tied for 11th at 2-over 74. She was 2-under through 11 holes before a handful of back-9 bogeys pulled her off the lead.

Junior Lizette Salas, a two-time All-American, tied for 16th at 3-over 75. She bogeyed her first three holes and then rattled off 15 straight pars.

Sophomore Jennifer Song, a 2009 All-American who has five top 3 finishes this year, and senior Belen Mozo, a three-time All-American, tied for 28th at 5-over 77. Mozo and Song were both 4-over going out and 1-over coming in.

Second-round action begins Friday at 8 a.m. EDT.

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