The No. 1 USC Trojans extended their lead to 17 strokes in the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships, led by individual leader Annie Park, who shot a 2-under 70 on Thursday.
The Trojans improved upon their round record-setting performance in the second round of NCAAs–where they shot 12-under 276–despite the fact that they battled strong winds and a sluggish start along the way at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, GA.
As a team, USC combined for a 3-under 285 and now stand at 19-under 845, 17 strokes ahead of second-place Duke (862). The Blue Devils turned in the third-best round of the day, but couldn’t close the gap with Southern California. Alabama sat in second place with 12-under on the second day of NCAAs, but fell to a tie for third at 9-over 873 with Purdue and UCLA.
For Park, the freshman from Levittown, N.Y., her 9-under 207 total is good enough for a two-stroke lead. Park birdied four of the last six holes after back-to-back bogeys on the 11th and 12th holes. Coming into this competition, Park won Pac-12 Championship and tied for first in the NCAA West Regional.
On Friday, USC will tee off with Purdue and Duke in the final pairing of the tournament, slated to begin at 12:59 ET.
The Women of Troy have won the NCAA Women’s Golf titles in 2003 and 2008, and are currently cruising towards their third championships. With just 18 holes to go, the Trojans are looking for their seventh team win in 2013, and their sixth straight victory.