Having not played in a tournament since February 2020, USC ended its 11-month hiatus with a victory over at the Lamkin Grips San Diego Classic on Tuesday. The Trojans captured the team title and senior Allisen Corpuz received medalist honors at the Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
The Trojans finished the invitational, hosted by SDSU, with a combined 16-over 880 (295, 290, 295). USC went into the final round with a 36-hole lead, six strokes ahead of UCLA. The Trojans steadily built upon their lead and comfortably pulled away, out of reach of the Bruins. UCLA and TCU tied for second, each with a 40-over 904 performance.
This team performance marks USC’s third consecutive win, resuming play after almost a year away from the green. The Trojans won their last two appearances in Feb. 2020 before the season was cut short. Under head coach Justin Silverstein, this is the Trojans’ second three-tournament win streak.
Senior Alyaa Abdulghany acknowledges that even though it was disappointing to have their previous season cut short, there were some benefits to the extended off season. “I have been able to find a rhythm in my game,” said Abdulghany, “I got to focus on the mental aspects of golf during the off time due to COVID.”
USC’s five players each individually placed in the top 20. Corpuz led the team with her 2-under 214 (71, 69, 74) performance. Corpuz’s performance included birdieing the final two holes to put her one stroke ahead of the invitational’s second place finishers. This is Corpuz’s first win in a 54-hole format. Her other first place win was roughly three years ago in 2018 at the single round SDSU March Mayhem.
Three Trojans joined Corpuz in the top 10. Junior Katherine Muzi finished seventh, in her first career start for the Trojans, with a 6-over 222 (74, 75, 73). Freshman Brianna Vavarrosa finished tied for eighth at 8-over 224 (76, 75, 73) in her debut. Adding to her 11 top 10 finishes, senior Alyaa Abdulghany ended tied for tenth at 9-over 225 (74, 73, 78). Senior Amelia Garvey finished in 16th place at 11-over 227 (79, 73, 75).
“It is a monster course,” Abdulghany said. “The pins were in some tough spots on the last day, it caught up to me.” Even though the final round was tough, Abdulghany finished on a high note with a birdie.
Noticeably absent from the campaign was senior All-American and 2019 U.S. Amateur Champion Gabriela Ruffels who announced on Feb. 10 that she opts to forgo her NCAA eligibility to turn professional.
USC will be back in action February 15 at the Sun Devil Winter Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz.