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Oct. 19, 2014

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – No. 2 South Carolina (+13) claimed a 14-stroke win for its second title of the fall season at this weekend’s Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships hosted by the University of Tennessee at the Cherokee Country Club. Freshman Nanna Madsen captured medalist’s honors by three strokes at 1-under and junior Mary Fran Hillow carded a program-record 65 in today’s round. Three Gamecocks finished in the top four.

South Carolina entered the day in third place and used a 3-under 281 today to take the title. The Gamecocks carded the second-best team score in tournament history with a three-round total of 865 (295-289-281, +13). Hillow’s 65 is also a tournament record. The Gamecocks have two tournament titles and a runner-up finish in three fall tournaments this season, the best fall in program history with one tournament remaining next weekend.

For the second day in a row, the Gamecocks played without a drop score after Katelyn Dambaugh withdrew due to injury before yesterday’s round. South Carolina was bolstered by Madsen’s first collegiate win, Hillow’s tie for second at 2-over and senior Justine Dreher’s fourth-place finish at 4-over.

After finishing 10th at the ANNIKA and fifth at last weekend’s Tar Heel Invitational, Madsen earned her first title. The freshman posted a three day total of 212 (72-69-71) to finish at 1-under for a three-stroke win.

At 2-over (76-74-65=215), Hillow earned runner-up honors. On No. 3, Hillow carded the first eagle of the season for South Carolina and surged 29 spots up the leaderboard for her first top-five finish with her historic 6-under 65.

In fourth place at 4-over, Dreher earned her second top-5 result of the season. Dreher shot a 2-over 73 in today’s round for a three-day total of 217 (73-71-73). Sophomore Jia Xin Yang had her best day of the tournament today, firing a 1-over 72. Yang rose more than 20 spots on the individual board to finish tied for 41st at 15-over (228).

Behind the Gamecocks, Tennessee was the runner-up at 27-over. Kent State took third at 28-over, yesterday’s leader Louisville was third at 32-over and UCF rounded out the top five at 35-over.


Junior Mary Fran Hillow recorded the first eagle of the Gamecocks’ season on the third hole that ignited the low rounds for South Carolina today. The Gamecocks’ 3-under 281 today was the only under-par round of the tournament.

KEY STAT The Gamecocks won the tournament despite playing the second and third rounds without a drop score.


  • Nanna Madsen is the first freshman in South Carolina history to win a fall tournament. She is one of just three Gamecock freshmen to win medalist honors. The last freshman to record an individual win was Debbie Eckroth in 1989.
  • The Gamecocks’ 13-over 865 (295-289-281) is the second-best team score in the history of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship.
  • Mary Fran Hillow’s 65 was not only a tournament record, but also a program record. Prior to day, the record was 66, which four Gamecocks, including senior Justine Dreher, have recorded.
  • Hillow’s runner-up finish is the best of her collegiate career. In her historic round, she also posted the first eagle of the South Carolina season.
  • Madsen and Dreher topped the field with 12 and 10 birdies, respectively. South Carolina recorded 36 birdies in all over the weekend, tied with Denver to lead the field.
  • South Carolina’s round of 281 (-3) today was the only team round under par at this weekend’s event.
  • The Gamecocks are undefeated against teams from the SEC this season (11-0-0).
  • Today’s win is the first title for the Gamecocks in 10 appearances at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships. Last year, South Carolina was the runner-up at a rain-shortened event at the Cherokee Country Club.

QUOTABLE South Carolina Head Coach Kalen Harris
The team really stepped up and played great today. It was a fun day from the get go. Everyone got off to a great start, which was great for us since we played with just four players again today. Everybody rose to the occasion, which was awesome. They all played steady. Mary Fran was unbelievable today. She holed out for eagle on three and got the momentum going from there to finish at 6-under despite bogeys on 9 and 18. She was just phenomenal. The 65 is a tournament record. I’m excited for her. It was fun to see a program-record 65. It was big time for her to go really low, and she made it easy on the rest of the team and gave us a cushion. Jia Xin played well and steady, and so did Justine. Nanna was under par most of the day as well and got her first collegiate win, which was nice. It was neat to win with just four girls. They did an amazing job in keeping their heads in the right place.

UP NEXT The Gamecocks wrap up the fall slate next weekend at The Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS 1. Nanna Madsen 72-69-71=212 (-1)
T2. Mary Fran Hillow 76-74-65=215 (+2)
4. Justine Dreher 73-71-73=217 (+4)
T41. Jia Xin Yang 81-75-72=228 (+15)
*Katelyn Dambaugh withdrew before the second round.

TEAM STANDINGS 1. South Carolina 295-289-281=865 (+13)
2. Tennessee 301-290-288=879 (+27)
3. Kent State 289-294-297=880 (+28)
4. Louisville 293-287-304=884 (+32)
5. UCF 294-295-298=887 (+35)
6. Missouri 297-290-310=897 (+45)
7. Wisconsin 304-293-303=900 (+48)
8. Denver 297-300-308=905 (+53)
9. Furman 299-300-307=906 (+54)
10. Notre Dame 300-303-308=911 (+59)
11. Michigan 211-299-303=913 (+61)
12. College of Charleston 306-302-211=919 (+67)
13. Chattanooga 317-298-308=923 (+71)
14. Penn State 317-301-306=924 (+72)
15. East Tennessee State 317-306-302=925 (+73)
16. Eastern Kentucky 324-313-320=957 (+105)