by usctrojans.com Nov 3, 2021
Senior Katherine Muzi fired a final-round 2-under 71 to complete a wire-to-wire win, sealing her first collegiate title with a clinching birdie on 18, leading No. 22 USC to a season-best second at the Pac-12 Preview at the Nanea G.C. in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, on Wednesday (Nov. 3).
USC came close to winning the event for the second time, finishing at 3-over 875 (290-292-297), finishing four strokes back of top-ranked Stanford while No. 16 Arizona took third at 4-over, No. 5 Oregon taking fourth at 7-over.
Muzi won the tournament at 9-under 210 (68-71-71), her final card one better than UCLA’s Emma Spitz, who closed with four birdies over her final six holes. The Trojan senior is the second USC golfer to win this event, following Robynn Ree’s 2016 victory at 6-under 213.
Muzi went out at 2-under with birdies on 5 and 9 before her only bogey of the day on 15. After pars on 16 and 17, Muzi sank a 10-footer for her first win as a Trojan.
Her 71 marked her sixth round under par this season and the seventh of par or better while her victory comes one event after she posted a then-career-best 10th-place effort at the Stanford Intercollegiate.
Freshman Xin (Cindy) Kou rallied to tie for 10th at 1-over 220 (70-78-72). She turned at 2-over but got under par with birdies on 11, 12 and 13. She stayed there with, like Muzi, one more on 18. Kou’s round was her seventh round under par in 12 outings this season and her eighth of par or better.
“We are all so proud of the way Katherine performed this week and closed out this tournament,” USC Coach Justin Silverstein said. “In the history of the program, few, if any, players have made the progress that Katherine has in her four years here. By working very hard and very smart she has turned herself into one of the finer players in the country.
“This group of five did a great job the last four weeks banding together and working towards playing some better golf. We had a great chance to win this tournament with six holes to play and that’s a position we expect to be in more often than not. We will use the next couple months to sharpen up and be ready to compete again in late January.”
Sophomore Brianna Navarrosa tied for 24th at 7-over 226 (75-73-78) while sophomore Michaela Morard tied for 30th at 10-over 229 (77-76-76). Sophomore Christine Wang tied for 35th at 11-over 230 (77-72-81).