Alyaa Abdulghany Advances To NCAA Final Round As USC Women's Golf Team Misses Cut
Alyaa Abdulghany fired a third-round 3-under 69, advancing to the 2021 NCAA Championships final round individually, a big highlight on a USC team that otherwise struggled and was eliminated from the field after 54 holes Sunday (May 23) at the Grayhawk G.C. in Scottsdale, Ariz.
A five-time winner and the 2021 Pac-12 champion, USC never found its rhythm in this year's nationals, finishing 23rd at a combined 43-over 907 (307-300-300), on the wrong side of the 15-team final-round cut. Stanford (-18) takes a a 20-streak lead into the final stroke play round Monday, when the field will be trimmed to the top 8 for match play.
The Trojans national-best streak of 14 straight top 5 NCAA finishes came to a close, but USC will at least be represented for one more day.
Abdulghany was able to extend her season by finishing her final four holes at 3-under thanks to a birdies on 15 and an eagle on 16. It moved her into a tie for 23rd at 3-over 219 (75-75-69) as she captured one of nine spots into the final round reserved for top individual entries or of players on teams not advancing.
She will tee off tomorrow in the second of three of individuals threesomes - in her final round as a Trojan - playing with Michigan's Hailey Borja and Virginia's Beth Lillie beginning at 11:27 a.m. PT.
While she is a daunting 13 shots out of first, she is within four shots of sixth.
It wasn't the way the Trojans envisioned their return to nationals after the 2020 season was cut short, but it doesn't take away from the hard work and success they had to this point.
"This was probably the most difficult year in the history of the program," USC Head Coach Justin Silverstein said. "From not having a Fall segment, to returning to campus in December when LA County was the epicenter of the pandemic, to having a great player turn pro in February, our team has had to deal with a lot.
"I'm incredibly proud of this group for being able to persevere through everything and put 5 wins on the board, including our second consecutive Pac-12 championship. I want to thank all 3 of our senior All-Americans for their commitment to this program and their discipline to work through tough conditions this year to lead us to where we got."
USC needed to leapfrog a handful of teams to earn a top 15 spot Monday and just could not find the collective momentum.
Senior Amelia Garvey tied for 82nd at 11-over 227 (78-75-74), freshman Brianna Navarrosa tied for 97th at 14-over 230 (77-72-81), junior Malia Nam tied for 111th at 16-over 232 (77-79-76) and senior Allisen Corpuz was 127th at 30-over 246 (83-78-85).
Both Garvey and Corpuz were All-Pac-12 first teamers this year and are in contention for All-American honors. Corpuz, in fact, is an ANNIKA Award Player of the Year finalist.