USC wins third consecutive tournament, Popov wins fifth individual title
Junior Sophia Popov won her Southern California record-tying fifth career individual title while her four teammates joined her in the top 10 as the No. 1 Trojans ran away with the SDSU Farms Invitational for its third consecutive win on Tuesday at The Farms G.C. in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
USC finished at a combined 11-over 875 (298-289-288) to win by 21 strokes against second-place Arizona (896) while Pepperdine was third (904). The victory was not only the Trojans' third in a row but the fourth in the past five events.
Popov finished at 1-over 217 (74-69-74) to claim her first title this year. She had three as a freshman and one as a sophomore. She was 2-under through 10 holes on Tuesday before a bogey on 11 and a double on 16 helped Arizona's Manon Gidali -- in the same pairing as Popov - close to within one stroke. But Gildali was unable to make up the final stroke and settled for second.
Popov's fifth win ties her with Irene Cho and Mikaela Parmlid for the most at USC.
Freshmen Annie Park finished in third at 3-over 219 (77-71-71), sophomore Doris Chen (75-75-71) and freshman Kyung Kim (72-76-73) tied for fourth at 4-over 221 and junior Rachel Morris tied for 10th at 8-over 224 (77-74-73).
Park secured her fourth top-eight finish in five events thanks in part to her four-birdie day. She challenged Popov for the lead until a hitting a smattering of late bogeys.
Kim had a pair of birdies to offset an early double and a bogey on 12 to nail down her fourth top-seven finish this year (coming within the last five events). Chen turned in a five-birdie day, including one on 18, to finish the round under par. It was her third top-10 this year and fifth in the top 16.
Morris's tie for 10th was a season-best (and her second-best finish as a Trojan) and her fifth top-22 this season. In an incredibly steady round, she had 17 pars and one bogey (on 16).
Freshman Kim Santiago played individually and tied for 65th at 33-over 249 (84-81-84).