Women of Troy take second in tournament to finish season

The No. 3 women’s golf team wrapped up the regular season on a strong note, finishing second at the second annual Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Tournament Tuesday in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

The Women of Troy finished at 9-under 855, six strokes behind UCLA, who recorded a final score of 15-under 849 to win the tournament. Stanford finished third at 4-over 868, while Arizona came in a stroke behind at 869 to finish fourth.

Freshman Doris Chen notched four birdies in the final round of the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate Tournament. | Photo courtesy of USC Sports Information

The Women of Troy entered the final round 14 strokes behind the Bruins, but a strong final push allowed the team to narrow the margin and take second.

Senior Lisa McCloskey finished second overall at 6-under 210, a season best and her highest mark in the last two seasons. Senior Inah Park also notched a personal high, finishing tied for 3rd at 2-under 214. Sophomore Rachel Morris and freshman Doris Chen each finished tied for 28th at 4-over 220, while sophomore Sophia Popov concluded tied for 59th at 13-over 229.

The tournament saw some highs and lows for the Women of Troy. McCloskey steadily improved each round, following up a 71 and 70 on the first two rounds with a 3-under 69 on the final 18. She birdied two of the final three holes and notched her second straight bogey-free round, completing her sixth top 10 finish of the year.

After an even first round and a 3-over 75 on the second day, Park shot an impressive 5-under 67 to finish tied for third. Both matched season highs for the senior, who recorded six birdies on the day. Morris shot a 3-over 75 on the first 18 and a 1-over 73 on the second day before a final round even-72. Her four birdies, including two of the final three holes, propelled to her best final round and overall finish of the season.

Chen also notched four birdies in the final round, shooting a 2-under 70 after a rough middle round of 6-over 78. Popov, whose sophomore season has been hampered by injury and inconsistency, struggled to find her groove during the tournament, twice shooting 8-over 80 between a middle round 3-over 75.

After winning four tournaments last year, the Women of Troy were unable to replicate such success this year, capturing only one tournament victory. However, the spring season marked a steady improvement for the team, especially after a troublesome fall campaign.

“The team, as well as myself, didn’t perform to our usual standards, and therefore we haven’t been performing to our full potential,” Popov said. “Personally, the end of my regular season was disappointing and I’m hoping to fix things before the postseason starts.”

However, Popov remains optimistic that the team can achieve a semblance of its old self during the playoffs.

“As we’ve seen today, if we all play our best golf, we are capable of doing really well in the postseason,” Popov said.

The Women of Troy will kick off the postseason with the Pac-12 Championships, to be held in Pullman, Washington April 27 to 29.