USC women's golf came within one stroke of winning the 2010 NCAA Championship Friday, nearly completing a sizable comeback but missing out on the final hole.
The Women of Troy opened the fourth and final round trailing Purdue by seven strokes but took the lead on the back nine — only to soon give it back to the Boilermakers. The two teams headed into the par-five 18th hole with Purdue in front by two, but USC sophomore Jennifer Song had an opportunity to send the round to a playoff with a 12-foot birdie putt.
Song, competing in her last tournament as a college golfer, missed to give Purdue the one-stroke victory, 1153-1154.
Five USC golfers competed in each of the four rounds, with Song turning in the best performance: a 5-under 283. She finished tied for fifth among all individuals at the tournament after earning second place a season ago. Senior Belen Mozo tied for 21st in the tournament with a 4-over 292 and shot a 1-under 71 on Friday, as did freshman Cyna Rodriguez, who shot 6-over 294 for the week.
USC's score of 1154 would have been good enough to win the NCAA title in every year except 2004. When the Women of Troy won the title in 2003 and 2008, their totals were 1197 and 1168. The one-stroke margin between Purdue and USC was the closest finish at the NCAA's since 1996, when Arizona defeated San Jose State in a playoff.
The Women of Troy have now competed in 13 consecutive NCAA Championships, with five consecutive top-four finishes.