The USC women’s team survived its second consecutive tough test of the fall season and the disqualification of NCAA individual champion Annie Park, emerging from a tight battle with Oklahoma State, Stanford and Arizona to win the Windy City Collegiate Championship.
The victory was a school-record fifth in a row for USC, which has won eight of its past nine starts dating to last season. USC needed to rally to defeat Oklahoma by four shots at the season-opening Dale McNamara Fall Preview.
The defending NCAA champion Trojans, ranked No. 2 behind UCLA in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, led Oklahoma State by one shot and Arizona by two heading into Tuesday’s final round at Northmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Ill. USC, even with Park’s score not counting, shot 7-over 291 to finish with a 1-over 853 total and win by two strokes over the No. 7 Cowgirls, who shot a final-round 292. No. 10 Arizona (293) and No. 11 Stanford (290) tied for third at 5-over 857.
Arizona’s Lindsey Weaver, a sophomore transfer from Notre Dame, posted rounds of 70-69-69 to win medalist honors at 5-under 208, two shots ahead of USC sophomore Kyung Kim and OSU’s Julie Yang. Kim was joined in the top 10 by USC freshman Karen Chung (sixth) and junior Doris Chen (T-9).
Park was in second place late in the round, one shot behind Weaver, giving the Trojans had a more comfortable seven-shot lead before she was DQ’d and her score thrown out. That meant the Trojans had to count the 5-over 76 by freshman Gabriella Then instead, tightening the final margin to two.