USC women’s golf travels to Athens, Ga. this weekend to play in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic hosted by the University of Georgia. USC previously won the tournament in 2014 and 2015.
The No. 10 Trojans are looking to build on a strong start to their season after winning three of their four tournaments so far. Currently ranked sixth in the nation by the Women’s Golf Coaches Association poll, USC approaches the tournament after a 10-day hiatus since their third place finish at the Arizona Wildcat Invitational on Mar. 9.
Senior Alyaa Abdulghany is confident in the Trojans’ ability to continue their success.
“Everybody has been performing really well coming back from the [coronavirus] season,” Abdulghany said. “We’ve put in a lot of work and prepared, and I’m really pleased with how the girls have played.”
This will be the first tournament the Trojans have competed in that will allow spectators to attend since the coronavirus pandemic upended the 2020 season.
The field for this weekend is composed of 14 SEC conference teams with the additions of Louisville, College of Charleston and USC.
“It will definitely be a good game gauger,” Abdulghany said. “This is one of our tournaments that we are moving to the East Coast, we will get to see a couple of the teams we don’t usually see when we are out playing Pac-12 so this will give us a chance to see how we play against the players on the other side.”
Two such teams USC will face are the No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks and No. 4 LSU Tigers. A strong showing from the Trojans this weekend will lock them into the conversation of favorites for the NCAA title.
One player to watch is senior Allisen Corpuz, who has led the Trojans to their victories with individual first place finishes at the Lamkin San Diego Invitational and the Gold Rush, as well as a third place finish at the Sun Devil Winter Classic. She currently ranks No. 11 in the World Amatuer Golf Rankings and was recently named on the latest ANNIKA Award Watch List by the Golf Channel and Golfweek. This award is presented annually to the most outstanding college women’s golfer.
Fellow seniors Amelia Garvey and Abdulghany have also had impressive starts to the season and in the team’s last tournament. Garvey finished in 10th place with 2-under 214, marking her sixth top-16 finish in a row. Abdulghany followed with a top-15 finish, after earning a top five finish in the two tournaments prior. She has not placed outside top-13 yet this season.
According to Abdulghany, head coach Justin Silverstein has done well maintaining morale and a spirit of competitiveness within the team.
“[Silverstein] is really adamant about fostering a very competitive environment and it seems to be working,” Abdulghany said. “Every girl on the team has been improving. We help each other out when it’s not qualifying, so I think overall that really adds to the expectations that we have for this team.”
The first round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic begins Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the UGA Golf course.