USC Wins Allstate Sugar Bowl College Golf Title for Second Time park
Top-ranked USC traveled nearly 2,000 miles to go down to the wire against crosstown rival UCLA, but the Women of Troy prevailed in a playoff to win the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Women's Golf Championship on Tuesday at English Turn Golf & Country Club. It is the Sugar Bowl Tournament title in three years for USC, which also took top honors in 2011.
With both Pac-12 squads tied at 4-over through 36 holes, both teams returned to the 18th tee box and all five players from each team played one more hole for the team trophy. USC's Sophia Popov proved to be the difference maker as her birdie putt proved to be the difference and the Women of Troy won by one stroke.
"With the conditions that we had to face this week, I'm certainly happy that we were able to get the second round in," USC head coach Andrea Gaston said. "I'm so proud of the team because I know that we just kind of had to get up for the game. We were in sixth place going into today and we wanted the opportunity. Given the conditions with the wind, it was very difficult play today. We didn't quite know where balls were going to end up, but the team came through. It was very exciting and I'm really proud of them.
"You know that rivalry is there. I think it was great that (UCLA head coach) Carrie (Forsyth) wanted to go ahead and do it (play the playoff hole). We both have a plane for this evening so we said let's just go out there and do it. I mean if it's a national championship, you've got to play for it. That was a lot of fun," Gaston said.
Following USC and UCLA was Duke, the 2012 Champions, which finished third. Tulane took fourth place while Purdue rounded out the top five squads.
Baylor's Hayley Davis (pictured right with Sugar Bowl President Jay Batt) took home individual medalist honors after she carded the best round of the day with a 4-under 68 and came all the way back from 20th place to win. Oklahoma State's top-ranked Kelsey Vines, UCLA's Lee Lopez and Popov each finished as the individual runners-up, finishing two strokes behind Davis.
"I kind of knew where I was," Davis said. "I asked my coach to tell me how far behind I was. I had a few putts on the first and second holes to make birdies and I just didn't hole them. I left them a little bit short. On the last few holes, I just kept hitting some good shots and played well all day. I just kept that approach on the last few holes and made three good putts."
Tulane's 31st-ranked golf team couldn't duplicate its first place effort from Sunday's opening round, but the Green Wave overcame very windy and chilly conditions to combine for a 19-over par 307 in the final round. Tulane finished with a 36-hole total of 13-over 589 after firing a tournament-low 6-under 282 total during Sunday's opening round and finished ahead of eight teams ranked ahead of it in the latest Golfstat.com rankings. Monday's round was cancelled due to damaging weather to the course on Sunday night.
"Obviously finishing fourth was disappointing today for us," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "We were leading by one going into the last round of our home tournament. We were in a great position and had a lot of very, very good teams and very good programs chasing us. But we didn't play that well today. I think we kind of got a little flustered early on. It was very windy early on this morning. We made a couple of sloppy bogeys and I think that got us out of our normal game plan. We have an extremely young team with three freshmen and a sophomore in the line-up to go with one senior, and this is just a learning experience for them. Hopefully, they take away a lot from today's round."
Freshman Emily Penttila led the Green Wave with a fifth-place showing. Penttila, the first round leader, registered a 1-under 143 total for her two rounds, including the lowest round of the tournament with a 5-under 67 on Sunday.
"I was really happy with my round on Sunday," Penttila said. "My round today was solid, too, but I kind of felt my inexperience came in at the turn when the wind really started to blow and I got a little impatient. I got back in the end so I was happy about that.
"The toughest part is scoring no matter how well you're playing that day or how well you're hitting the ball. You still have to be able to make putts and make good scores. I think we all felt we had more to give. But we'll get our chance to challenge these teams again next year," Penttila added.
T1. *USC (plus-4), T1. UCLA (plus-4), 3. Duke (plus-7), 4. Tulane (plus-13), 5. Purdue (plus-15), 6. LSU (plus-16), T7. Alabama (plus-17), T7. Baylor (plus-17), 9. Texas (plus-19), T10. Florida (plus-20), T10. Oklahoma State (plus-20), 12. Texas A&M (plus-25), 13. Ohio State (plus-30), 14. Oregon (plus-35), T15. Colorado (plus-37), T15. Tulsa (plus-37), 17. UTSA (plus-38), 18. Auburn (plus-41).
Individual Results (top-10 golfers only)
1. Hayley Davis, Baylor (-4), T2. Sophia Popov, USC (-2), T2. Lee Lopez, UCLA (-2), T2. Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State (-2), T5. Emily Penttila, Tulane (-1), T5. Tiffany Lua, UCLA (-1), T5. Desiree Dubreuil, Texas (-1), T8. Laetitia Beck, Duke (E), T8. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama (E), T8. Annie Park, USC (E).
*Won in a playoff against UCLA on the 18th hole by one stroke