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No. 13 USC Women's Golf To Play Stephens Cup For First Time

Oct 7, 2022
Brianna Navarrosa

The No. 13 USC women's golf team, coming off its first team and individual wins last week, continues the fall slate at the Golf Channel-televised Stephens Cup, Monday through Wednesday (Oct. 10-12), at the Seminole G.C. in Juno Beach, Fla.

The Stephens Cup will feature a pair of men's and women's seven-team fields. The women's field includes USC, Stanford, South Carolina, Wake Forest, LSU, Arkansas and Duke. The men's field features, Oklahoma State, North Carolina, Texas, Arkansas, Notre Dame, Stanford and Florida State.

Monday's play includes two rounds of stroke play, the first of which tees off between 4:30 and 6:20 a.m. PT, the second between 10 and 11:50 a.m. Tuesday's action will include any remaining second round holes and a final round of stroke-play teeing off between 7 and 8:50 a.m.

Wednesday's champion will be determined via match play between the top two stroke-play finishers while the third and fourth-place teams will play a consolation final match. Matches start between 4:30-9:20 a.m. The fifth through seventh-place teams are cut.

Golf Channel coverage is set for Monday from 1-4 p.m. PT and Tuesday and Wednesday from 12-3 p.m. PT. Results will also be available at golfstat.com.

Starting for the second straight event will be sophomore Amari Avery, junior Brianna Navarrosa, sophomore Xin (Cindy) Kou, freshman Catherine Park and junior Christine Wang.

The Trojans are led by fifth-year head coach Justin Silverstein and first-year assistant coach Tiffany Joh, the All-American first-teamer and LPGA star from UCLA now in her second year of collegiate coaching.

WINNING AT THE WINDY CITY
After a tough season-opener, USC came roaring back in its second event of the fall season, winning the Windy City Collegiate Classic on Oct. 4 by nine strokes while sophomore Amari Avery won her fourth career individual title by a stroke. It marked both USC's third team and individual wins at the event.

Avery won at 6-under 210 (67-69-74), her first two rounds giving her 12 career rounds in the 60s, tied for ninth on USC's career chart. She is also tied for fourth on USC's career wins chart.

Fellow sophomore Xin (Cindy) Kou tied for seventh at 3-over 219 (72-75-72), good for her sixth career top 10 of her young career and second top 17 this season.

THE TROJANS IN THE RANKINGS
Amari Avery is the No. 18-ranked golfer in the NCAA per golfweek.com while Xin (Cindy) Kou is No. 66 and Catherine Park No. 94.

THE TROJANS IN BRIEF
USC returns seven golfers from last year's team that posted a trio of wins, captured the 2022 NCAA Stanford Regional and finished 10th at the NCAA Championships, just outside of match play.

Avery returns following her All-American first-team debut as a 2021-22 freshman — which saw her win three times — while Nam, also an All-American as a freshman, is back after missing last season due to injury. Kou was Pac-12 honorable mention last year and started all 13 events, as did the ever-improving Navarrosa, while Park will make her debut in Cardinal and Gold.

USC saw just one departure from last season as fifth-year senior and All-Pac-12 honorable mention pick Katherine Muzi transferred for her final season to South Carolina.

TROJAN NOTES
• Avery was a finalist for the 2022 ANNIKA Award as well as the WGCA Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honor and managed all of that despite joining the Trojans as a spring semester freshman. Collegiately, Avery 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. 
• Avery, who tied for fourth at the Augusta National Women's Amateur, finished with seven top 10 finishes (all in the top 8) in nine stroke play events, tied for sixth on USC's all-time season list.
• Avery represented the U.S. at the 2022 Curtis Cup and Arnold Palmer Cup.
• Avery won her fourth career event at the 2022 Windy City Collegiate Classic. That total is now tie for 5th on USC's career tournament wins list. She now has 12 career rounds in the 60s in less than a full season of collegiate golf, tied for ninth on USC's career chart.
• Junior Brianna Navarrosa was a 2022 U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist. She finished second on the Trojans in stroke average (73.63) after starting all 13 events. She had six top 16 finishes and nine in the top 24 to go with 11 top 20s for her career. She led USC at the NCAA Championships, tying for 21st.
• Sophomore Xin (Cindy) Kou is USC's other returner who started all 13 events last year. She was just the third Trojan freshman in over 20 years to record four straight top 15s to start the season.
• Kou finished with four top 5 finishes, five top 10s and six top 15 results. Her 13-under at the Icon Invitational last year is tied for the third-best total in school history.
• Junior Michael Morard came on strong last spring and finished with three top 11s, highlighted by a tie for eighth at The Gold Rush and a tie for 11th at the Icon Invitational. She had 11 rounds of par or better.
• Injured last season, graduate senior Malia Nam looks to return to the form this year that made her the 2019 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and a 2019 All-American.