USC Captures Third Victory at East Lake in Four Years Since Event’s Inception
Auburn Wins in First East Lake Cup Appearance by Taking Out Rival, Alabama
Alabama (Women), Duke (Men) Win Consolation Matches
ATLANTA, Oct. 31, 2018 – The University of Southern California (USC) women and Auburn University men claimed the 2018 East Lake Cup on Wednesday afternoon, closing out their 2018 fall season schedule with a victory to carry momentum into next spring. The Trojans (No. 2 seed) defeated (No. 1) Stanford, 3-2 in the championship match, while (No. 4) Auburn took down (No. 3) Alabama, 4-1.
The win for USC marks their third East Lake Cup title (2015, 2017) in four years since the event’s inception, and the first under 1st-year head coach Justin Silverstein. The Trojans overcame losses in two of the first three matches to defeat Stanford in the championship for the second consecutive year, solidifying the win courtesy of a 2&1 victory from Alyaa Abdulghany (sophomore) and the clinching point from Gabi Ruffels (sophomore, 2&1).
“It feels really good,” Silverstein said. “This week was some really valuable match play experience. We played some really formidable opponents, and it was some good building blocks for later in the year. We have a really good group.”
Auburn’s dominant win was made all the more satisfying given that it meant denying victory from its in-state rival. In the first match out, Trace Crowe (senior) overcame an early 2-down deficit to Alabama All-American Davis Riley to earn a 2&1 win. Jacob Solomon (senior, 2&1) and Brandon Mancheno (sophomore, 3&2) also earned points in their matches to secure the East Lake Cup title for the Tigers.
“The guys earned it to be here as I kept reminding them this week,” said Auburn head coach Nick Clinard. “They didn’t need any motivation to come in here and try to compete against some of the game’s best. Any time you’re playing Alabama, you know they’ve got great players. It feels good, no doubt about it.”
Women’s: (2) USC def. (1) Stanford, 3-2
Men’s: (4) Auburn def. (3) Alabama, 4-1
(1) Stanford vs. (2) USC
Albane Valenzuela (6&4) Jennifer Chang
Ziyi Wang Malia Nam (3&1)
Mika Liu (4&3) Amelia Garvey
Aline Krauter Alyaa Abdulghany (2&1)
Andrea Lee Gabi Ruffels (2&1)
(3) Alabama vs. (4) Auburn
Davis Riley Trace Crowe (2&1)
Davis Shore Jacob Solomon (2&1)
Prescott Butler Brandon Mancheno (3&2)
Wilson Furr (2&1) Jovan Rebula
Frankie Capan Wells Padgett (4&3)
Women’s: (4) Alabama def. (3) Arizona, 3-2
Men’s: (1) Duke def. (2) Oklahoma State, 3-2
Despite having its pair of freshmen drop the opening two matches, Alabama rallied behind the play of its more experienced players in the women’s consolation match. The Crimson Tide earned points from Jiwon Jeon (junior, 3&2), Kenzie Wright (junior, 8&6), and Angelica Moresco (sophomore, 3&2) en route to defeating Arizona.
“I love how our team kind of just keeps fighting,” said Alabama head coach Mic Potter. “Our team doesn’t necessarily look the same as they did [at the NCAA Championship in May] but it feels good. I’m kind of sad that we have to stop until February right now, I’d like to keep it going. But, it was really gratifying and I feel great for them.”
On the men’s side, Duke outlasted Oklahoma State, thanks to wins from Adrien Pendaries (sophomore, 4&3) and Chandler Eaton (junior, 3&2), along with the match-clinching point from Shrish Dwivedi (senior, 2up). A bright spot for the Cowboys – despite the loss – came at the hands of junior Viktor Hovland, who made his first-ever hole-in-one on the par-3 11th hole with a 6-iron en route to winning his match 2&1.
“It’s kind of a silver lining that we drew Oklahoma State because you want to be able to play the best,” said Duke head coach Jamie Green. “Right now they’re the No. 1 team for a reason. So to be able to look at them in the eye, face-to-face, play the same golf course and see how we stack up – I know our players were thrilled for that opportunity. And to do it at a place like this, that’s really what makes it special.”
(3) Arizona vs. (4) Alabama
Haley Moore (5&4) Mary Mac Trammell
Yusang Hou (5&4) Carolina Caminoli
Ya Chun Chang Jiwon Jeon (3&2)
Bianca Pagdanganan Kenzie Wright (8&6)
Sandra Nordaas Angelica Moresco (3&2)
(1) Duke vs. (2) Oklahoma State
Alex Smalley Viktor Hovland (2&1)
Adrien Pendaries (4&3) Matthew Wolff
Chandler Eaton (3&2) Austin Eckroat
Evan Katz Hayden Wood (5&4)
Shrish Dwivedi (2 up) Zach Bauchou
Contested over three days, the East Lake Cup follows the format from the final three days of the NCAA men’s and women’s golf national championships. Day 1 consists of an individual stroke play competition to determine the individual champion and to seed for two days of match-play competition. The final two days of the competition feature two match-play tournaments hosted simultaneously for the men’s and women’s divisions.
Teams for the East Lake Cup competed on the championship golf course at East Lake Golf Club, home of the TOUR Championship, the season-ending event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The East Lake Cup benefits the East Lake Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping families build better lives and children reach their highest potential through its holistic approach to community revitalization incorporating mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. Mercedes-Benz, CSX, Bridgestone Golf and ZipRecruiter are sponsors for the 2018 East Lake Cup.
For more information about the East Lake Cup please visit the tournament website www.golfchannel.com/eastlakecup. Stay connected with the championship using the hashtag #EastLakeCup.
-NBC Sports Group-