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No. 5 USC Seeks Second Straight Title At Pac-12 Championships

Apr 21, 2021

The No. 5 USC women's golf team, which finished the 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 ahead of four regular-season wins this spring and led by top-ranked senior Allisen Corpuz, looks to defend its 2019 conference crown at the 2021 Pac-12 Women's Golf Championships, Friday through Sunday (April 23-25), at the Stanford (Calif) G.C.

The Trojans, under third-year head coach Justin Silverstein, are riding a national-best streak of 14 straight top 5 NCAA finishes dating back to the 2019 NCAA Championships and won the most recent Pac-12 Championship in 2019.

USC's four wins this season mark the third time in the last four seasons with at least that many victories and it's the eighth time in nine years with three or more wins.

The Trojans kicked off the new season with a dominating 26-stroke win at the Lamkin San Diego Invitational, followed it with a four-stroke win at the Sun Devil Winter Classic against an all Pac-12 field, next won The Gold Rush by 34 strokes before a third at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational and a sixth at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic. USC closed the regular-season with win No. 4 at the Silverado Showdown, a five-stroke come-from-behind victory.

Fifth-year senior Allisen Corpuz won at Lamkin and The Gold Rush and posted four other top fours.

USC's starting five for Pac-12s will include senior All-Americans Allisen Corpuz, Amelia Garvey and Alyaa Abdulghany, junior All-American Malia Nam and freshman Brianna Navarrosa. It's the second time this group has played together following its debut in a third-place finish at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational.

Pac-12 Championships Information
Tee times at Stanford's 6,269-yard, par 71 course will start at 8:30 a.m. PT Friday and Saturday and at 8 a.m. on Sunday. USC is paired with Washington beginning off of 10 at 8:40 a.m. on Friday. Results will be available at Click here for the Pac-12's championship site.

TV & Streaming Info - Following each round, the Pac-12 will feature a roughly five-minute long recap across digital & social media. Following the championship there will be a 30-min special on Pac-12 Network recapping as well (4/26, time TBA).

* USC has won seven conference titles overall and in five of the past 13 years (2008, 2011, 2013, 2016, 2019). In fact, USC has finished in the top 3 in 12 of the past 15 Pac-12 Championships, including finishing second in 2012, tied for second in 2014, both by one stroke, and in second in 2018. Overall, USC has collected Pac-12 crowns in 1989, 2008, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2019 and won the Pacific West Conference title in 1986 (the last year before it became the Pac-10).
* The Trojans have also won six Pac-12 individual titles, including a recent streak that saw three straight freshmen win it. Annie Park won it as a 2013 freshman at 7-under 209 (70-70-69) to become USC's sixth conference medalist. Doris Chen won it as a freshman in 2012, taking first at 1-over 217 (77-72-68) while Sophia Popov claimed her title in a one-hole playoff as a 2011 freshman after finishing regulation at 6-under 210 (69-71-70).

* USC is defending its 2019 title (the 2020 championships were cancelled due to Covid) when the Trojans completed a dominating wire-to-wire performance that saw four players finish in the top 7, winning by 11 strokes while hosting at the Palos Verdes G.C. USC won at 1-under 851 (283-286-282) for its first Pac-12 win since 2016 and duplicating its 2008 effort when the Trojans also won the conference trophy while hosting at the same course. Sophomore Gabriela Ruffels led USC's quartet of top 7 finishers at 3-under 210 (70-72-68), closing with her best round since Nov. 6 to finish one shot out of first in third. Junior Allisen Corpuz took fifth, sophomore Jennifer Chang was sixth with sophomore Alyaa Abdulghany seventh.

* The Trojans claimed the 2016 team title at 18-under 846 (278-275-293), a Pac-12 record for lowest three-round total and most under par. USC won by three strokes after leading by 13 through the second round. USC's second round 275 was its lowest ever at a conference championship and tied for sixth lowest ever. Then-junior Gabriella Then led Troy with a tie for third at 8-under 208 (70-65-73), her second round tying USC's record for lowest round at Pac-12s. USC won the team title in 2013, running away with a 24-stroke win behind Park's victory and Popov's second-place finish at 5-under 211. Chen and Rachel Morris also finished in the top 10.
* In 2011, USC posted a five-stroke win while then-freshman Popov won the individual title in a one-hole playoff. USC played the final round with only four players after Lisa McCloskey suffered a rib injury, yet the shorthanded Trojans had enough for the win. Popov's string of birdies (when she knocked in five of seven between 7 and 13) helped her secure her seventh straight top 7 finish.
* In 2008, USC posted a dominating 26-stroke win. Serving as host school, USC combined for an 8-over 860 (285-292-283) to win during a windy three-day event. Troy was led by senior Paola Moreno, who won USC's third individual championship with a 1-under 212 (70-75-67), the Trojans' best ever 54-hole total at a conference championship at the time. She led five Trojan golfers who all finished in the top 8. Moreno joined USC's previous two individual Pac-10 title winners Candie Kung (2000) and Jennifer Biehn (1994).
* In addition to USC's six team titles, Troy has finished second or third 11 other times, including in 2009, when the Trojans finished second when then-freshman Jennifer Song tied for first before falling in a playoff. Song went 5-under during the final seven holes of the Pac-10 Championships to get into a three-way playoff with Arizona's State's Carlotta Ciganda and Jennifer Osborn (Osborn won it on the first hole).
* Lizette Salas, as a sophomore in 2009, set the USC school and Pac-12 record for low round at the Pac-12 Championships with a final-round 65, tied by Then in 2016. Then's round came at 7-under, tied for most under par in a Pac-12 Championship round in conference history. Popov came close with a first-round 66 in 2013. Moreno (2008) and Anna Rawson (2001) were the previous record holders at 67.

Tournament Reviews
* USC waited more than 11 months to return to NCAA action and did so in style, winning the Lamkin San Diego Invitational by 24 strokes while senior Allisen Corpuz claimed medalist honors by birdieing the final two holes at the Farms G.C. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. The Trojans combined for a 16-over 880 (295-290-295), posting a wire-to-wire win with UCLA and TCU tying for second at 40-over 904. All five Trojans finished inside the top 16, led by Corpuz's 2-under 214 (71-69-74), marking her first 54-hole win. She previously had finished first in the single round of the SDSU March Mayhem as a 2018 sophomore ahead of that event's match play format.

* The Trojans followed the season-opener with a four-stroke win in Scottsdale at Talking Stick, holding off host Arizona State for a four-stroke win at 6-under 858 (289-286-283) in the all-Pac-12 field. Four USC starters finished in the top 11, led by Corpuz tying for third at 3-under 213 (71-71-71) while Abdulghany (72-70-72) and Garvey (74-70-70) tied for fourth at 2-under 214. Navarrosa tied for 11th at 3-over 219 (72-77-70), with a career-best final round. Junior Alexa Melton, in her debut effort as a Trojan while competing individually, took ninth at 1-over 217 (69-72-76).

* Corpuz fired a final round 6-under 66 to finish first at 10-under 206 – both career-best efforts – while Abdulghany took second thanks to a final-round 68 and junior Malia Nam finished third, leading the No. 4 USC women's golf team to a dominating third straight win to start the season at The Gold Rush at Old Ranch C.C. in Seal Beach, Calif., on Tuesday (Feb. 23). The Trojans captured the latest victory at a combined par 864 (290-290-284), 34 strokes better than second place UNLV and Cal Poly. Troy's three straight wins to start the season is its most since starting the 2013-2014 campaign with five in a row.

* USC put three golfers in the top 13 for the fourth tournament in a row, led by Corpuz's fourth-place finish, while taking third place overall for the team's fourth top 3 in a row at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The Trojans' five-tournament overall win streak and three-tournament win streak to start the season were both snapped with their third-place 2-under 862 (279-291-292). The win streak ended, but USC still has finished in the top 3 or better in seven straight events dating to last season and in nine of the past 10 tournaments.

* USC finished sixth at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia G.C. in Athens, Ga., on March 21. Allisen Corpuz tied for third at 2-over 218 (70-74-74), giving her two firsts, two thirds and a fourth now in five starts. The Trojans finished sixth in the 18-team field at 35-over 899 (292-305-302). Senior Amelia Garvey tied for 22nd at 8-over 224 (72-75-77) while Alyaa Abdulghany tied for 26th at 9-over 225 (74-78-73), going 2-under over her final 16 holes after starting the day at 3-over on 1 and 2.

* USC posted a come-from-behind five-stroke victory at the Silverado Showdown in Napa on April 7 for the team's fourth win of the season at the Silverado Resort and Spa. The Trojans started the day three back of UCLA but combined for a 7-under 281 — their second-best round of the season — to erase the deficit and secure the win at 2-under 862 (291-290-281) in the regular season team finale. Allisen Corpuz finished second by a stroke at 7-under 209 (70-71-68), marking her sixth straight top 4 finish to start the season. Corpuz led five Trojan starters who finished in the top 20, the second time USC has managed the feat this season.

Trojans Ranked In Golfweek's Top 150
* Corpuz (1), Abdulghany (27), Amelia Garvey (35), Alexa Melton (122) Brianna Navarrosa (126).
Player/Team Notes

* Allisen Corpuz leads USC in stroke average (70.56), rounds in the 60s (six, a career best), rounds of par or better (14) and rounds under par (14). She now has 16 career rounds in the 60s, fourth most in program history, while her current season stroke average is under the school season record. Her 14 rounds under par are USC's most since Annie Park had 19 and Kyung Kim had 18 in 2014.
* She reached No. 1 in the Golfweek rankings in mid-April, the latest a USC golfer was ranked No. 1 since Annie Park finished the 2013 season No. 1.
* Corpuz's victory at the Lamkin San Diego Invitational was her second career medalist honor but first in a 54-hole event. She previously finished first in the single round of the SDSU March Mayhem as a 2018 sophomore ahead of that event's match play format (which USC also won).
* Her win at 10-under 206 at The Gold Rush was a career-best for most under par as she became the first Trojan to win twice in a season since Jennifer Chang did it in the 2018-19 season.
* Corpuz's two wins, a third at the Sun Devil, a fourth at the Wildcat, a tie for third at Liz Murphey and a second at Silverado gives her 10 top 9 finishes in her last 11 events, 13 top 25s in a row and give her 19 top 30s in her last 21 starts. She has been USC's highest finisher in each event this season.
* Corpuz's six top 4s to start the season is USC's best start since All-American and longtime LPGA star Candie Kung started the 2001 season with seven such finishes.
* Corpuz was one of three early committee picks for the 2021 Arnold Palmer Cup that will be played at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., June 11-13. Corpuz joins Rachel Kuehn of Wake Forest and Brooke Matthews of Arkansas who can all make early reservations for the Palmer Cup later this year. Corpuz and Kuehn played for the U.S. in the recently completed 2020 Palmer Cup in late December, as did Trojans Alyaa Abdulghany and Gabriela Ruffels for the international side. Corpuz went 2-1 for Team USA.
* Corpuz was named to the ANNIKA Award Spring Watch List and was named the Pac-12's February Golfer of the Month.
* Corpuz tied for 13th at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur, making the cut for the second time, finishing at 6-over.

* Alyaa Abdulghany is second on the team in stroke average, her 72.67 inside the top 30 of USC's all-time seasons. Her 72.94 career stroke average is 14th best at USC.
* She has four top 10s and five top 13s in six starts. She has posted six top 10s in her last eight events. She also has seven top 13 finishes in her last eight starts, and 18 straight top 29 finishes, and 21 out of 22 in the top 29.
* Abdulghany has eight rounds of par or better, including five under par. Her 6-under 210 at The Gold Rush was her most under par as a Trojan and her streak of three straight tournaments of par or better is also her USC best.
* She competed at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur, the second time she's played the event.

* Amelia Garvey has three top 10s in five starts, four top 16s and hasn't finished outside the top 22, highlighted by a tie for fourth at the Sun Devil Winter Classic at 2-under, the same total she had in her 10th at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational.
* She has six top 10s in her last eight starts. She has six rounds of par or better, including four under par.
* Garvey, 17th in career stroke average at USC and tied for 13th in career rounds in the 60s, competed at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur.

* Malia Nam made her season debut at The Gold Rush and finished third at par 216 (71-74-74). In her third event, she tied for 13th at the Silverado Showdown, including a final-round 67. She competed at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur.

* Katherine Muzi's start in the season opener was her first and her seventh-place finish was a career best. She has started three times this year and tied for 28th at The Gold Rush and was 31st at the Sun Devil Winter Classic.

* Freshman Brianna Navarrosa opened her career with a pair of top 11 finishes and most recently finished a career-best second at the Fresno State Classic at 10-under 206 (68-70-68),
* Navarrosa, who played in the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur, has six rounds of par or better in 15 outings with five under par, including three rounds in the 60s. She has started in two of USC's wins this year.

* Sophomore Alexa Melton made her Trojan debut at the Sun Devil Winter Classic, playing individually, and took ninth 1-over 217 with an opening round 69. She tied for 20th at the Silverado Showdown.

* Melton joined Allisen Corpuz in making the cut at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur and tied for 28th.

* USC's now snapped five-tournament win streak (last two wins of 2020, first three of 2021) was the second-longest in program history and its three wins to start the season was its most since opening 2014 with five straight wins. Troy's streak was also the second time the Silverstein-led Trojans have won at least three events in a row.

SIX Trojans Play In 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur
Six Trojans, including seniors Allisen Corpuz, Amelia Garvey and Alyaa Abdulghany, junior Malia Nam, sophomore Alexa Melton and freshman Brianna Navarrosa, played in the 2021 Augusta National (March 31-April 3). Corpuz and Abdulghany both played in the inaugural event (along with former Trojan Jennifer Chang) in 2019 while Corpuz, Garvey, Melton, Navarrosa and Nam were set to play in the 2020 event before its cancellation due to Covid. Corpuz tied for 13th at the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur, making the cut for the second time, finishing at 6-over, while Melton also made the cut, tying for 28th.

Senior Gabriela Ruffels Turns Pro
Senior three-year starter Gabriela Ruffels, a 2019 All-American and 2019 U.S. Amateur Champion who posted a pair of 2020 LPGA top 15 finishes in majors en route to's Player of the Year honor, announced on Feb. 10 she is forgoing her remaining eligibility to pursue a professional career. Ruffels, ranked No. 6 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings at the time of her announcement, turned pro following her success as an amateur in LPGA events last year, including a tie for 13th at the 2020 U.S. Open and a tie for 15th at the ANA Inspiration. She also played in the 2020 British Open and tied for fifth in the Symetra Tour Championship.

Trojan Bonafides
Corpuz returns after earning All-American first team honors last year. In addition to leading USC with her (career-best) four top 7 finishes and five in the top 11, Corpuz (also an honorable mention All-American in 2018) topped USC with a 71.57 stroke average, the fifth-best in program history. She finished with a team-high-tying four rounds in the 60s, which gave her 10 for her career, joining a tie for 10th-most in program history.

Abdulghany and junior All-American Garvey are two time All-American honorable mention picks (2019-20). Garvey closed last season with three straight fifth-place finishes, including in Troy's final event at the Bruin Wave Invitational, where she was even at 216 (75-69-72). She also tied for fifth at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge at 3-under 210 (69-73-68) -- her final round one off her career best -- and was fifth at the Rebel Beach Intercollegiate at 4-under 212 (73-70-69).

She finished the season second on the team in stroke average with a career-best 72.00 (tied for 11th-best in school history) and her four rounds in the 60s tied Corpuz for team best.

Abdulghany was third on the Trojans with a career-best stroke average of 72.17 (16th-best in school history) last year and was second in rounds of par or better with 12 and was tied for third in rounds in the 60s (three).

She had three top 10s on the season, giving her 11 for her career. She posted a season-best fourth at the Rebel Beach Intercollegiate at 5-under 211 (62-67-72) and followed it with a sixth at the Bruin Wave Invitational at 3-over 219 (71-71-77). Abdulghany posted a then-season-best tie for eighth at the Stanford Intercollegiate at 2-under 211 (70-72-69).
In the off-season, Corpuz was a finalist at the 2020 North & South Amateur Championship, played in the 2020 U.S. Open and represented Team America in the Arnold Palmer Cup.

Garvey played in the U.S. Open as well, just missing the cut, while Abdulghany played against Corpuz in the Arnold Palmer Cup and helped Team International secure the event's title. Abdulghany also reached the semifinals of the 2020 U.S. Women's Amateur.

Nam, the 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a 2019 All-American, is a seasoned starter for the Trojans. As a 2020 sophomore, she registered four top 16 finishes in six starts, including a season-best tie for eighth in the season finale. Nam finished 2020 with a 73.44 stroke.

Muzi's off-season was highlighted by a big win in November, capturing the Golfweek Moorpark Amateur at Moorpark (Calif.) C.C. at 2-under 214 (72-70-72). The victory helped Muzi jump 133 places in the World Amateur Golf Rankings to a career-best 258th.

Sophomore transfer Alexa Melton comes over after a strong freshman season at Pepperdine that saw her post a pair of collegiate top 5 finishes last year, was second on the Waves' squad with a 73.50 stroke average and was included in Golfweek's "Top 10 Freshman to Watch" entering the season.

USC welcomed three freshmen this year. Brianna Navarrosa is from San Diego and was ranked No. 5 by Rolex AJGA as a 2020 prep senior and near the top 100 in the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Christine Wang, from Houston, is another prep All-American ranked as high as No. 13 in Rolex and has been inside the top 150 in the WAGR. Rounding it out is Olivia Yun, an up-and-coming amateur from Carlsbad, Calif., who brings much top-level junior experience to the Trojans.