May 9, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. – Top-seeded South Carolina fired a final-round 296 (+8) to clinch its third NCAA East Regional title since 2010 on Saturday at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C. The Gamecocks finished the tournament with a 54-hole score of 877 (+13) and captured the win by eight strokes to advance to their sixth-straight NCAA Championship. Senior Justine Dreher earned her sixth top-five finish of the season, finishing the weekend at even-par.
The Gamecocks entered the day with an eight-stroke lead after posting the only under-par team score of the tournament (-2, 286) on Friday. Alabama and LSU each made runs at the Gamecocks, particularly on the front nine when Alabama drew within five on a few occasions, but South Carolina fought its way though a difficult back nine to stay on top.
Dreher continued her career of strong postseason play, registering her second-straight top-five finish and her sixth of the season. Her 54-hole score of 216 (E) tied her for fifth with two others. After making the turn at 1-over, the senior played bogey-free on the back nine and holed a birdie on No. 15 to finish the day with a 72 (E)
Sophomore Katelyn Dambaugh turned in her best round of the weekend with a 2-under 70 on Saturday. She did not post a bogey on the front nine and made the turn at 3-under. She went 1-over on her final nine holes and posted her best career regional result in a tie for 12th at 5-over (221).
Junior Sarah Schmelzel also posted her best NCAA Regional finish. The Gamecock struggled after the turn and carded a final-round 77 (+5). With a three-round score of 220 (+4), Schmelzel captured 11th place, her best result since the season-opening Florida State Match-Up (T9) in February.
After a solid front nine, junior Mary Fran Hillow was 5-over on the back to card a third-round 77 (+5). Hillow was the fourth Gamecock to earn a top-25 result, tying for 22nd with a 54-hole score of 224 (+8).
After making the turn at 6-over, sophomore Jia Xin Yang battled on the back nine, carding eight pars and a birdie to also end the day at 5-over (77). Yang finished with a three-round score of 229 (+13, T48).
Also advancing to the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla., are Northwestern (+21), host NC State (+23), Alabama (+24), LSU (+24) and Campbell (+28).
LSU’s Madeline Sagstrom captured medalist honors by six strokes, finishing the weekend at 8-under (208). Coastal Carolina’s Lena Schaeffner and LSU’s Caroline Nistrup took second at 2-under, and Alabama’s Emma Talley was fourth at 1-under. Dreher, Furman’s Taylor Totland and NC State’s Rachael Taylor tie for fifth (E).
- The Gamecocks depth was on display this week with a different Gamecock carding the low individual round each day of the regional.
- Each of South Carolina’s three regional titles have come when the Gamecocks were placed in the East Regional.
- South Carolina has posted 10 top-five finishes this season, a new school record.
UP NEXT South Carolina advances to the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla. Twenty four teams and 12 individuals will compete in 54-holes of stroke play at The Concession Golf Club May 22-25. The top eight teams advance to match play to determine the team champion May 26-27.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS
T5. Justine Dreher 71-73-72=216 (E)
11. Sarah Schmelzel 74-69-77=220 (+4)
T12. Katelyn Dambaugh 78-73-70=221 (+5)
T22. Mary Fran Hillow 76-71-77=224 (+8)
T48. Jia Xin Yang 74-78-77=229 (+13)
TEAM STANDINGS 1. South Carolina 295-286-296=877 (+13)
2. Northwestern 302-292-291=885 (+21)
3. NC State 290-306-291=877 (+23)
T4. Alabama 294-295-299=888 (+24)
T4. LSU 288-304-296=888 (+24)
6. Campbell 293-305-294=892 (+28)
7. Ohio State 292-304-300=896 (+32)
8. Florida 299-307-296=902 (+38)
9. Coastal Carolina 303-290-310=903 (+39)
T10. Furman 298-308-298=904 (+40)
T10. Iowa State 303-303-298=904 (+40)
12. Mississippi State 300-306-299=905 (+30)
13. UCF 296-303-309=908 (+44)
14. College of Charleston 304-305-301=910 (+46)
15. GRU Augusta 303-309-300=912 (+48)
16. Wichita State 312-312-306=930 (+66)
17. Seton Hall 309-318-311=938 (+74)
18. Fairleigh Dickinson 328-331-327=986 (+122)