USC's Amari Avery Named Finalist For Three Major Collegiate Golf Honors
USC's Amari Avery is a finalist for three major awards, including the 2022 ANNIKA Award as well as the WGCA Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors it was announced this week.
Avery is looking to join fellow Trojan winners of WGCA Player of the Year honors Annie Park (2003) and Jennifer Rosales (1998) and Freshman of the Year winners Park, Sophia Popov (2011) and Jennifer Song (2009). No Trojan has won the more recently introduced ANNIKA award.
Avery has had one of the best seasons - freshman or otherwise - in school history despite enrolling as a spring semester freshman.
She has posted three wins (including at NCAA Regionals), a tie for second, a tie for fifth, a tie for sixth and a tie for eighth among her first eight stroke-play starts and a tie for 18th in her seventh.
Her three wins this season are tied with Sophia Popov for fourth on USC's season-chart behind NCAA winners Annie Park (2013) and Mikaela Parmlid (2003) and All-American Irene Cho (2006), all of whom had four. Park and Parmlid's fourth wins were at NCAAs.
Avery has 7 top 10s (technically top 8s) in eight stroke play events and is tied for sixth on USC's all-time season list, two off the record shared by LPGA stars Lizette Salas, Jennifer Song and Candie Kung.
Her stroke average is 71.04 through 24 rounds, which is under the USC season record. She leads the team with 10 rounds in the 60s, tied for second-most in a season at USC with Annie Park and one back of Kyung Kim, both set in 2014. Park had 36 rounds that season, Kim 35.
Avery's 10 rounds in the 60s actually already puts her in our all-time career top 15, tied for 13th. She has 13 rounds under par and 14 of par or better.
Avery won her first college hardware at 15-under 201 (65-71-65) at the Icon Invitational, clinching her one-stroke win with a short par on 18 after seven birdies on the day. Her 15-under tied the USC record for most under par in a 54-hole event and she is the first Trojan to post a pair of 65s in one tournament. She then won at The Gold Rush at 5-under 211 (69-74-68) for her second straight crown.
Avery captured her third win at the NCAA Stanford Regional at 9-under 204 (69-67-68). She built a three-stroke final-round lead before finishing with a one-stroke win over Stanford's top-ranked Rose Zhang.
Her five top 8s in a row to start her season is the best freshman start in at least two decades and complements Kou's four top 15s to start her season in the fall.
Avery, who tied for fifth at the Pac-12 Championships, was named Pac-12 Golfer of the Month for February.