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No. 8 USC Women's Golf Wins NCAA Stanford Regional, Amari Avery Takes Medalist Honor

May 11, 2022
USC won the NCAA Stanford Regional on Wednesday, its NCAA-record 14th regional title.

The No. 8 USC women's golf team - led by Amari Avery, Brianna Navarrosa and Michaela Morard finishing first, third and sixth, respectively, won the 2022 NCAA Stanford (Calif.) Regional at the Stanford G.C. on Wednesday (May 11), the Trojans decisively punching their ticket to the NCAA Championships final.

USC captured its NCAA-record 14th regional title at 15-under 837 (280-276-281), eight strokes better than top-ranked and host Stanford and first-round leader LSU, who tied for second. Northwestern and Purdue are in a playoff for the final spot.

The win, USC's third this season and the second at a regional under fourth-year head coach Justin Silverstein, secures the Trojans' 24th straight trip to the NCAA Championship finals dating back to 1998 (with no championship held in 2020).

"This was an incredible week for a group that was very much deserving of it," Silverstein said. "They have worked very hard and very smartly the past few weeks to put themselves in position to make a deep postseason run.

"Amari's play this spring has been spectacular and this win should put her in the National Player of the Year discussion. Bri and Michaela did a great job this week and their finishes are a product of some incredible work at home. Although Cindy and Katherine didn't post the finishes they would have liked, their games look really good and I expect that they'll perform very well at Grayhawk."

Avery won today at 9-under 204 (69-67-68) for her third win of the season, her fourth top 2 finish and seventh in the top 8. She built a three-stroke lead thanks to a 3-under front and a birdie on 13 before finishing with a one-stroke win over Stanford's top-ranked Rose Zhang.

The regional team title is Troy's first since claiming the Cle Elum Regional in 2019. It is the third regional crown secured at the Stanford G.C. following firsts in 2013 and 2016. Avery is also the first Trojan to win a regional title since Jennifer Chang did it, also at Cle Elum in 2019.

Navarrosa finished third with a season-best 7-under 206 (70-68-68), just off a carer-best finish but even more impressive considering what was at stake.

"I could not be more proud of my team, which played their hearts out here at Stanford," Navarrosa said. "I'm also immensely proud of my girl Amari for securing yet another win, just amazing.

"We've all been working hard day in and day out to get to Nationals and we did that along with a win. I've also been working really hard, and i think it's slowly coming together. I'm never satisfied but this was a good week for me. This team is my family and it makes me so happy that we are just one step away."

Morard finished a career-best sixth at 3-under 210 (70-71-69), using an eagle on 7 and a birdie on 8 to turn at 3-under with just one bogey on the back.

Said Morard: "I am at a loss for words when it comes to how proud I am of this team. Not only did we get the team win, but Amari secured her third indy win too. We have been putting in the work and I am so excited to see it showing up on the course. I am also super happy with where my game is at. I had my best finish this week and can't wait to continue climbing.

"Being under Justin and Katie's wing this year had helped my game so much and I have never been more confident with my game on the golf course. I can't wait to play in my first Nationals with this team and I'm excited to see what it has in store for us!"

Freshman Xin (Cindy) Kou (71-73-76) and senior Katherine Muzi (73-70-77) tied for 30th. Kou had two counting rounds this week, Muzi one.

The NCAA Championships final is set for the Grayhawk G.C. in Scottsdale, Ariz., hosted by Arizona State, May 20-25.

With her victory, Amari Avery becomes just the fifth Trojan to win three or more times in a season, tying Sophia Popov's total from 2011 and is one behind record holders Annie Park (2013), Irene Cho (2006) and Mikaela Parmlid (2003). Both Park and Parmlid won their fourth titles at the NCAA Championships.

Avery also now has 10 rounds in the 60s this season, tied for the second-most in school history with Park and one behind Park teammate Kyung Kim, both done in 2014. Avery has reached 10 in 24 rounds while Park did it in 36 rounds and Kim hit 11 in 35.