No. 22 USC Women's Golf To See Conference Foes At Pac-12 Preview
The No. 22 USC women's golf team, the two-time defending Pac-12 champion, returns to the islands to complete the 2021 fall schedule and compete in the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea G.C. in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, Nov. 1-3.
The 12-team field includes the 11 Pac-12 teams that field women's golf (all but Utah) as well as Hawaii.
Play opens with a shotgun start Monday on the par 73, 6,449-yard course at 7:30 a.m. HT . 9:30 a.m. PT. Results will be at golfstat.com.
USC won the tournament in the fall of 2013 at 15-under 861, led by Annie Park's second-place finish at 7-under and a tie for third from Sophia Popov at 6-under.
Robynn Ree won the individual title in the fall of 2016 at 6-under 213. Most recently, USC finished fourth in the fall of 2019 at 1-under 875, led by Allisen Corpuz's tie for seventh.
Starting for the fourth 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 play in her second straight event.
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 is ranked No. 6 in the country per the latest Golfweek rankings while senior Katherine Muzi is No. 65 and sophomore Brianna Navarrosa is No. 81.
Freshman Xin (Cindy) Kou leads the Trojans with a stroke average of 71.00, four rounds in the 60s, top 10 finishes (two) and top 15s (three).
Kou debuted with a third-place finish at the ANNIKA Invitational, followed it with a tie for fifth at the Windy City Collegiate and most recently tied for 15th at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
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.
In Chicago, she carded a 3-over 219 (72-79-68), posting her third round in the 60s in six tries. She made it four in nine rounds with a 1-under 212 (68-74-70) at Stanford.
Kou is also just the third Trojan freshman in over 20 years to record three straight top 15s to start the season, following Nam in fall 2018 and Jennifer Song in the fall 2008.
She is just the sixth Trojan overall in more than 20 years to post at least four rounds in the 60s in her first 3 events, joining Nam (five, 2019), Karen Chung (4, 2016), Annie Park (four, 2015), Kyung Kim (five, 2014), and Song (five, 2010).
Senior Katherine Muzi and sophomore Brianna Navarrosa tied for 10th at Stanford at 2-under 211 and also tied for 20th at the ANNIKA Invitational to start the fall season at 2-over 218.
The 10th-place finishes were both season-best efforts. It was the fourth career top 11 and sixth top 20 for Navarrosa and a career-best effort by Muzi.
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.