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May 19, 2014

Championship NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Live Scoring


The South Carolina women’s golf team will compete for the program’s first-ever national title as it tees off in the NCAA Championship on Tuesday. The 72-hole event runs through Friday at the par-70, 6,194-yard course at Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla.

“The golf course is in great condition,” said head coach Kalen Harris. “The greens are running perfect. The course is long and its in good shape. We’re looking forward to getting out there tomorrow and starting the week of competition. The team looks good and they’re ready to go. It’s extremely windy out here today and there are going to be windy conditions throughout the week so its going to be a tough test.”

The Gamecocks are making their fifth-straight appearance in the NCAA Championship and are one of only seven teams in this year’s field to do so. South Carolina had one of the best regular seasons in program history with seven-straight top-five finishes and continued that success in the postseason, claiming second place at both the SEC Championship and the NCAA East Regional.

Harris will keep the same five golfers in the lineup that brought home those two postseason second-place finishes as Justine Dreher, Samantha Swinehart, Katelyn Dambaugh, Sarah Schmelzel and Suzie Lee will represent the Gamecocks.

Dreher enters the week with team’s low stroke average (73.28) after the leading the way at the East Regional with a tie for fourth place finish. She earned First Team All-SEC honors and has recorded a team leading eight top-20 finishes this season. Swinehart, a Second Team All-SEC selection, finished in a tie for seventh at the East Regional and enters the Championship with a 73.41 stroke average. Dambaugh, a Second Team All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman Team selection, finished the East Regional in a tie for 24th place. She enters the week with a 73.59 stroke average and has tallied six top-20 finishes this season. Schmelzel tied for 29th at the East Regional and currently has a stroke average of 73.93. Lee finsihed the East Regional in a tie for 65th and will be making her fourth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Championship.

All 24 teams in this year’s field enter the week ranked in the Golfstat Top-50. Top-ranked and defending National Champion Southern California highlights the field. South Carolina is joined by five other SEC teams as Vanderbilt, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi State and Texas A&M all advanced to the championship. Arizona, Arizona State, California, Campbell, Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, NC State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Stanford, Tulane, UCLA, Virginia and Washington round out the field. The Gamecocks have competed against all but one team in the field at least once this season and have compiled a 45-14-1 head-to-head record against those teams.

“This is an unbelievable field,” said Harris. “It’s really anybody’s week. It’s going to be a lot of patience, four rounds is an extra round compared to what we’re used to playing. With the windy conditions it’s going to come down to patience and attitude.”

South Carolina is making its 14th NCAA Championship appearance all-time. At last year’s championship, the Gamecocks finished in 20th place and its best finish ever at the event came a year earlier as they claimed fifth place.

South Carolina will tee off in the first round on Tuesday, beginning at 12:55 p.m. CT and will be paired with Alabama and Washington. Live scoring will be available throughout the championship as well as live streaming of holes 16, 17 and 18 for the final two rounds at