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May 8, 2014


The South Carolina women’s golf team shot a 3-over 291 on Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA East Regional at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.

“We got off to a good start today,” said head coach Kalen Harris. “We didn’t have anybody go low, which is tough because [this course] is pretty scoreable. The wind definitley picked up on the back side. There were some good teams that went low and relative to that we didn’t have our best day. At the same time, we didn’t do anything that I feel puts us way behind either. We have some work to do [in the second and third rounds] and I know the team is up to the challenge. We’ve been in this position before and there is still a lot of golf left to play.

Vanderbilt is currently in first place with an 11-under 277. Tulane and Virginia round out the top-three with scores of 280 (-8) and 283 (-5), respectively. The top eight teams and top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship. The Gamecocks finished the round in a tie for 11th place, only one stroke behind the teams currently tied for ninth place and two strokes behind the teams currently tied for sixth place.

Sophomore Sarah Schmelzel led the way on Thursday, shooting a 1-under 71 to finish the round in a tie for 19th place. She recorded two birdies and a bogey on the front nine and stayed even through the back side.

Senior Suzie Lee turned in an even-par 72 to conclude the round in a tie for 28th place. Lee got off to a strong start as she birdied the first two holes and followed with 11 consecutive pars. On the back side, she bogeyed then birdied the 14th and 15th holes, respectively, but ended with a double bogey on the 18th.

Senior Samantha Swinehart wrapped up the round in a tie for 46th place. Swinehart began her day with nine consecutive pars and a birdie on the 10th hole, but bogeyed twice on the back side to finish with a 1-over 73.

Junior Justine Dreher carded a 3-over 75 is currently tied for 70th place. She tallied three birdies and six bogyes on the day. Freshman Katelyn Dambaugh finished the round in a tie for 87th place to round out the lineup. She carded a 4-over 76 and while recording two birdies and and six bogeys.

“I loved what I saw out of the gate this morning,” said Harris. “A couple of people birdied the first few holes, which were very scoreable with the pin placements. They did a great job starting out early and [the course] gets progressively harder. Eight and nine are difficult holes and when you get on the back nine there are some hard finishing holes coming in. They [the team] knows this golf course, so we’ll just keep fighting and see where it takes us.”

Tulane’s Emily Penttila is currently at the top of the individual leader board with a 7-under 65. Celine Boutier of Duke carded a 5-under 67 to finish the round in second place.

South Carolina is scheduled to tee off at 1:11 p.m. ET on Friday in the second round and will be paired with Duke and Stanford. Live scoring is available through Golfstat.

South Carolina Results
Sarah Schmelzel 71 (-1)
Suzie Lee 72 (E)
Samantha Swinehart 73 (+1)
Justine Dreher 75 (+3)
Katelyn Dambaugh 76 (+4)

Team Standings
1. Vanderbilt 277 (-11)
2. Tulane 280 (-8)
3. Virginia 283 (-5)
4. Duke 284 (-4)
5. NC State 286 (-2)
T6. Texas State 298 (-2)
T6. UCF 298 (+1)
T6. East Tennessee State 298 (+1)
T9. Pepperdine 290 (+2)
T9. Florida State 290 (+2)
T11. Campbell 291 (+3)
T11. South Carolina 291 (+3)
T11. Stanford 291 (+3)
14. Auburn 293 (+5)
T15. Kentucky 295 (+7)
T15. Louisville 295 (+7)
17. Troy 296 (+8)
T18. Baylor 297 (+9)
T18. East Carolina 297 (+9)
20. Georgia 298 (+10)
21. College of Charleston 299 (+11)
22. Seton Hall 302 (+14)
23. Murray State 307 (+19)
24. Alabama State 315 (+27)