Junior Christine Wang stepped up as a third-round substitute to fire a 4-under 68 while sophomore Amari Avery and senior Malia Nam were under par as well as the No. 15 USC women’s golf team turned in a dominating final-round performance to win the 2023 Pac-12 Women’s Championship on Wednesday (April 19) at the Papago G.C. in Phoenix.
The Trojans won at a combined 15-under 849 (279-289-281), seven strokes ahead of No. 9 Oregon and eight strokes ahead of No. 1 Stanford.
The win marks USC’s eighth Pac-12 title and ninth in conference history. It is the Trojans’ third championship in the past four seasons, sixth in the last 12 and the seventh in the last 15 (not including the canceled 2020 championship).
It is also USC’s second win this season, extending the Trojans’ streak of having at least two tournament victories in a season to 14 years.
The Trojans began the day tied for first with Arizona at 8-under but fell behind by two strokes quickly after an early Wildcat eagle.
The deficit didn’t last long thanks to early birdies by Avery and sophomore Xin (Cindy) Kou. Steady play moved USC into the lead midway through the first round as the Trojans completed their front 9 at a collective 4-under.
That included three front 9 birdies by Wang, who was making her postseason debut for the Trojans en route to her second-best round this year.
The strong USC play continued on the back 9 with three combined birdies on the 10th hole as Troy slowly grew its lead while marching toward 18.
Three more birdies on 15 gave USC a solid cushion and Avery birdies on 17 and 18 — plus a slew of late pars — clinched the title.
“Tiffany (Joh) and I are so proud of this group for all of their efforts this week,” said USC Coach Justin Silverstein, whose Trojans won their third Pac-12 title under his tutelage. “We prepared really hard and really smart for this event and we’re thrilled that the hard work was rewarded with another conference title. We have recruited very hard to get a bunch of depth on our roster and we were able to showcase that this week.
“We’re going to enjoy this but also quickly turn our attention to the upcoming NCAA Regionals and NCAA Championships.”
Avery and Park tied for third at 4-under. Park’s finish marked USC’s best Pac-12 effort by a freshman since Annie Park won the title in 2013. For Avery, it was her second straight top 5 finish at the conference tournament.
Nam tied for ninth at 2-under as she earned her third Pac-12 title as a Trojan. Kou tied for 20th.