The UCLA women’s golf team may not exactly be David, but when it topped Southern California and a star-studded field at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, it seemed like it took down Goliath.
“It really was satisfying for all of us and really put a smile on all of our faces to take them down,” freshman Alison Lee said. “It wasn’t only us. All the schools were coming up to us like, ‘Oh my God, good job beating SC.’ Every one just wanted to beat them. They were on top.”
USC headed into the event as the No. 1 team in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings, on an eight-tournament win streak and as the defending national champ.
“They were going through a huge streak and, obviously, they’re our cross-town rivals,” Lee said. “(In the fall) we won two tournaments, but they … beat us two times. It built up all of the emotions of really wanting to beat them. That’s what drove us to play well in this tournament – to be able to beat them.”
Lee led the charge for the Bruins, finishing at 6 under and in a tie for third place. Lee was one of four Bruins to finish T-12 or better as the team went on to shoot 21 under and win by six strokes. The rivals met at the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge two weeks earlier, with USC coming out as the victors and UCLA finishing in a tie for fourth.
The difference, according to Lee? Preparation.
“It was a really big disappointment for us. We got fourth and that was the first tournament of the season for us and we really wanted to win and beat SC,” Lee said. “(In New Orleans), we went in with a lot of discipline because of how we did the previous week. We practiced really hard and when we got there, we were ready because we practiced the way we wanted to.”
The Trojans don’t have to worry about waiting long for their shot at revenge. The two teams are set to compete at the Bruin Wave Invitational in Tarzana, Calif., Monday and Tuesday.