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May 7, 2014

Tournament NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Live Scoring | Tournament Central


The South Carolina women’s golf team is set to make its 16th consecutive regional appearance, as its begins play in the NCAA East Regional on Thursday. The 54-hole event runs through Saturday at the par-72, 6,257-yard course at SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee Fla.

South Carolina opened the spring season with a win at the SouthWood Golf Club, taking home the title at the Florida State Match-Up. “We’ve seen the golf course, which is an advantage,” said head coach Kalen Harris. The greens are definitely complex, but I think our learning curve will be a little faster, which gives us a some confidence.”

The Gamecocks, who are No. 5 in the latest Golfstat rankings, enter the tournament as the No. 2 seed and will compete against 23 teams for a berth to the NCAA Championship. The top eight teams and two individuals not on those teams from each of the three regional sites will advance to the championship, which will be held May 20-23 at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

After a second-place showing at the SEC Championship, Harris will keep the same five golfers in the lineup with Justine Dreher, Sarah Schmelzel, Katelyn Dambaugh, Suzie Lee and Samantha Swinehart all representing the Gamecocks in Tallahassee.

The 24-team field consists of 14 teams in the Golfstat top-50, including second-ranked and No. 1 seed Duke, No. 8 Stanford, No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 14 Pepperdine, No. 17 UCF, No. 20 Virginia, No. 24 Auburn, No. 26 NC State, No. 30 Florida State (host), No. 31 Kentucky, No. 34 Tulane, No. 38 Louisville, No. 41 Baylor and No. 43 East Tennessee State. Georgia, Campbell, East Carolina, Texas State, College of Charleston, Troy, Murray State, Seton Hall and Alabama State round out the field. Thirteen teams (Duke, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Pepperdine, Tulane, Louisville, East Tennessee State, Campbell, College of Charleston, Troy, Murray State, Seton Hall and Alabama State) all earned automatic bids after winnings their respective conference championship. The Gamecocks have faced 15 teams in the regional at least once this season and have complied a 32-8 head-to-head record against those teams.

“Duke is obviously a very strong team and we have a lot of other great teams in the field as well,” said Harris. “In regionals, teams come and play their best golf of the year. We need to do the same thing, play great golf and have a solid week. Even down in the field there some great teams that can surprise you. We need stay focused and concentrate on playing our golf.”

The Gamecocks have a strong regional history under the guidance of Harris. Last year, South Carolina placed fourth at the West Regional behind top-20 showings from Suzie Lee (T-14th) and Meredith Swanson (T-18th). The Gamecocks claimed the program’s first regional title in 2010, winning the East Regional in Greenville, N.C. Harris led Carolina to its second regional championship in 2012, as the Gamecocks captured the East Regional title in State College, Pa.

South Carolina will tee off in the first round on Thursday beginning at 8:51 a.m. ET and will be paired with Duke and Stanford. Live scoring is available through Golfstat.