Women’s golf opens the season strong with a win

Senior Amelia Garvey made two eagles to help USC win its first tournament of the season. (Photo courtesy of USC Athletics)

USC women’s golf won the Lamkin San Diego Invitational tournament at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. on Monday and Tuesday. 

Though UCLA scored better than the Trojans by one stroke in the second round, the Trojans remained in first place throughout all three rounds finishing with a final team score of 16-over par. TCU and UCLA tied for second place, both finishing 40 over par. 

Graduate student Allisen Corpuz had the tournament’s lowest score with a two-under-par 214, while four of the five Trojans on the team finished within the top 10. 

Junior Katherine Muzi finished in seventh place with a 6-over-par 222. Freshman Brianna Navarrosa finished just behind Muzi tied for eighth place with an 8-over-par 224. Senior Alyaa Abdulghany made a birdie on the eighteenth hole of her last round to secure her place in the top ten, and senior Amelia Garvey finished with an 11-over-par 227 that included two eagles. 

Head coach Justin Silverstein commented on Abdulghany and Garvey’s performances: “I think they both would have been a little rusty – they hadn’t played as many tournament rounds as they normally do come this time of year – but they looked really good and I think this will be a good step going forward into next week with a bigger event in Phoenix.” 

Overall, Silverstein was pleased with all of his players’ performances, especially on the Farms’ challenging golf course. Opening the season with a challenging course, Silverstein added, will make clear to his players the aspects of their game that they need to focus on before their next tournament.  

“That’s the kind of golf course we like to start our spring season on,” Silverstein said. “It’ll expose you if you’re off and reward you if you’re on.” 

Muzi, who according to Silverstein had her best-ever performance as a Trojan, said she was particularly focused on her mental game. This focus included remaining “calm and patient” throughout the tournament as well as forgetting bad shots as quickly as possible. Muzi’s mental game was especially important on the back nine of her third round.

“I was four over through ten because I hit one out of bounds. After that I was getting really nervous,” Muzi said. “I was able to calm myself down, and then I made a clutch birdie on twelve and thirteen, and then I drained a 90-footer on seventeen … that was probably the highlight of the tournament.” 

Coach Silverstein provided a confident outlook on the season to come. The Trojans finished the 2019 season in first place, and won two events back-to-back in 2020 before last season was cancelled. 

“We think any lineup we throw out there is good enough to win every tournament we play regardless of who else is in the field,” Silverstein said. 

Despite this optimistic outlook, USC will have to work through the challenges of some coronavirus related restrictions. The team can still work out together but players have had to adapt to playing with a mask on and maintain an at-home workout regimen. 

Currently the Trojans cannot use their short-game practice facility and indoor hitting area without coaches being present. As a result, Silverstein explained that players have been forced to spend less time practicing and more time driving to golf courses in the area.

The Lamkin Invitational marked a strong start to the season for the Trojans, who are now looking forward to Arizona State’s Sun Devil Winter Classic next Monday. 

The tournament in Scottsdale will be an important opportunity for Silverstein and company to see how they stack up against more of their Pac-12 competition.