Top-ranked USC claimed its sixth Pacific 12 Conference Championship and Olivia Mehaffey of Arizona State beat Albane Valenzuela of Stanford in a playoff for the individual title at Palos Verdes Golf Club www.pvgc.com in Rancho Palos Verdes.
The Trojans won for the sixth time this season by posting a score of 283-286-282—851, 1-under-par, while Arizona was second at 290-292-280—862, followed by Arizona State at 293-293-281—867, Stanford at 289-287-292—868 and Washington at 302-292-283—877.
“The girls did a great job managing their games today,” said first-year Coach Justin Silverstein of USC. “They had really consistent iron play and had really good speed on the greens. We made tons of pars, which is what we wanted. It was just a really good team effort.
“We had a good game plan entering the week and they followed it. I give them a lot of credit. A lot of times here you can get frustrated and buck your plan and go a different route. But they didn’t and stuck to it and executed really well.”
UCLA was sixth at 293-293-294—880, followed by Oregon at 292-307-298—897, Washington State at 298-297-308—903, California at 311-298-296—905 and Oregon State at 314-302-301—917.
Mehaffey, a junior from Ireland, carded a score of 69-70-70—209, coming from four strokes back in the final round, while Valenzuela finished at 65-70-74—209, with the Sun Devil taking the title with a par on the first extra hole.
“I am a really aggressive player, I thrive under pressure, and that’s the player I am,” said Mehaffey, the 2016 Irish Women’s Open champion who claimed the third title of her college career. “So, I love moments like this and was going straight at that pin and try and make birdie.
“Nice to have an uphill putt and not worry about racing it by. It might have been a different story if the putt was downhill, but I felt pretty good over it and felt like I had a good read.”
Gabriela Ruffels of USC was third at 70-72-68—210, followed by Ya Chun Chang of Arizona at 72-70-69—211 and three Trojans, Allisen Corpuz at 73-69-71—213, Jennifer Chang at 71-71-72—214 and Alyaa Abdulghany at 70-74-71-215.
Andrea Lee of Stanford shot 74-71-72—217 to tie for eighth with Haley Moore of Arizona, who finished at 72-73-72—217, Ellie Slama of Oregon State, who wound up at 72-70-75—217, Yu-Sang Hou of Arizona, who totaled 73-74-70—217, and Julianne Alvarez of Washington, who came in at 72-75-70—217.
Mariel Galdiano led UCLA in a tie for 13th at 74-72-72—218, while Cindy Oh of Cal tied for 30th at 79-72-74—225.
Rounding out the scoring for team champion USC was Malia Nam in a tie for 22nd at 72-77-73—222.
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