USC Women's Golf Heads To Stanford Intercollegiate
The USC women's golf team, the two-time defending Pac-12 champion, heads to familiar territory at the 2021 Stanford Intercollegiate at the Stanford G.C., Friday through Sunday (Oct. 15-17).
The 17-team field includes host Stanford, USC, Arizona State, California, Colorado, UCLA, UC Davis, Georgia, Iowa State, Northwestern, Oregon, Oregon State, Pepperdine, San Jose State, Texas, Washington and Washington State.
Action starts on the par 71, 6,269-yard course with morning waves at 7:30 a.m. PT the first two rounds with afternoon waves at 11:10 a.m. There is a shotgun start beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Results will be at golfstat.com.
USC last won the tournament in the fall of 2018 at 15-under 837 (272-286-279) with a wire-to-wire victory, winning by 15 strokes. Junior Alyaa Abdulghany led the Trojans with a fourth at 5-under 208. USC posted a three-year win streak at the event between 2012-2014, the final year sharing first with the host Cardinal. Kyung Kim (2013), Jennifer Song (2009) and Lizette Salas (2008) have posted individual wins there for the Trojans.
USC tied for third in its most recent appearance there in the fall of 2019 with Allisen Corpuz taking fourth.
The Trojans, under fourth-year head coach Justin Silverstein and third-year assistant coach Katie Mitchell, feature a young roster with just three upperclassmen returning with just one senior.
Starting for the third time in as many events this fall will be senior Katherine Muzi, sophomores Brianna Navarrosa and Christine Wang and freshman Xin (Cindy) Kou while sophomore transfer Michaela Morard will make her debut in the lineup.
The Trojans are replacing three All-Americans from the 2020-21 roster in Allisen Corpuz, Amelia Garvey and Alyaa Abdulghany not to mention Gabriela Ruffels, who turned pro before her senior year.
Navarrosa is USC's leading returner in stroke average (74.08) and top 11 finishes (three) and rounds in the 60s (four). Senior Malia Nam, the 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, is the Trojans' lone returning All-American on the squad.
Freshman Xin (Cindy) Kou has led USC's early season efforts in its first two tournaments with a third-place finish in her debut at the ANNIKA Invitational and a tie for fifth at the Windy City Collegiate. Her stroke average of 71.17 leads the team.
Kou showed no signs of freshman jitters in her debut tournament as a Trojan, taking third at 8-under 208 (68-73-67). It was the most under par in a USC opener since Malia Nam, also as a freshman, took second at the same event at 12-under on Sept. 19, 2018. She then tied for fifth in Chicago at 3-over 219 (72-79-68), posting her third round in the 60s in six tries.
Senior Katherine Muzi and sophomore Brianna Navarrosa also tied for 20th at the ANNIKA Invitational to start the fall season.
USC is coming off of a five-win season, the third time in the last four seasons with at least that many victories and the eighth time in nine years with three or more wins.
The Trojans kicked off the 2020-21 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 and next won The Gold Rush by 34 strokes. USC closed the regular-season with win No. 4 at the Silverado Showdown, a five-stroke come-from-behind victory and then opened the post-season with a wire-to-wire Pac-12 title, winning by five strokes. Fifth-year senior Allisen Corpuz won at Lamkin and The Gold Rush and posted four other top fours.
USC brings back a lot of talent in its six returners, including three - Malia Nam, Alexa Melton and Brianna Navarrosa - who played in the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur.
Navarrosa posted four top 20 finishes, highlighted by a career-best second at the Fresno State Classic at 10-under 206 (68-70-68). She tied for 20th at the Pac-12 Championships, bouncing back from an opening 80 with a 69 and a 73.
Nam posted a pair of third-place finishes - one at the 2021 Pac-12 Championships - among three top 18s. She had three rounds in the 60s.
Melton played in three events as as a sophomore transfer last season from Pepperdine, her season topped by a tie for ninth at the Sun Devil Winter Classic.
Katherine Muzi saw action in five events as a junior, registering two top 16 finishes, including a seventh at the Lamkin San Diego Invitational.
Christine Wang, as a true freshman, played in two events, while sophomore Olivia Yun did not see action last year.
USC welcomes three freshmen this year, two true freshmen in Rolex All-Americans Xin (Cindy) Kou and Jiarui (Joyce) Jin - both from Beijing before moving to the states - as well as sophomore transfer and fellow Rolex All-American Michaela Morard (she played at Alabama as a true freshman).
Kou, a 2020 AJGA Rolex first teamer ranked third nationally, has won 11 career AJGA events, tied for seventh most all time among female golfers. Jin has dominated the Southern California Junior PGA Tour since 2017, winning eight tournaments among 15 top 3 finishes.
Morard represented the U.S. at the 2019 Junior Solheim Cup (where she teamed with her new teammates Navarrosa and Wang), the 2019 Toyota Junior World Cup and at the 2018 World Junior Girls. She is also a two-time AJGA Wyndham Cup team member. She also played in the 2021 Augusta National Women's Amateur.