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Feb. 4, 2016

By Kyle Heck

Coming out of the fall, South Carolina women’s golf head coach Kalen Anderson wanted the bottom part of her lineup to become more consistent. She was extremely happy with her top two golfers in Katelyn Dambaugh and Sarah Schmelzel, but the other golfers had their ups and downs during the fall and that affected the Gamecocks during their events.

With just over a week before spring play starts at the Florida State Match-Up in Tallahassee, Florida, Anderson said she is in a much more comfortable position. Her team knew what they had to do over the offseason to become better golfers and they came back after the winter break ready to go.

“That is something we talked about going into the offseason and a lot of it relies on them to be proactive on their own with some of the NCAA rules,” Anderson said. “They came back very strong and very much ready to go and I was extremely pleased. That consistency at that three and four spot is going to be so big moving forward. I think they understand that and they’ve reacted to it and I’m proud of them.”

Anderson was happy with the way golfers like junior Jia Xin Yang and Ainhoa Olarra came back after the fall and in addition, the Gamecocks added two talented golfers for the spring season. Marianna Monaco is a junior transfer from nearby Newberry College who was named South Atlantic Conference freshman of the year before picking up SAC player of the year her sophomore season.

“Marianna is a huge, raw talent,” Anderson said. “She hits it I’d say in the top one percent of female golfers I’ve seen, especially in college. She has the ability to do great things. We’re pretty excited about being able to work with her and to help her and see where we can take that because I think she could be a pretty big contribution to what we’re doing here.”

The other newcomer is Marion Veysseyre, a freshman from France who was one of the best amateurs in all of Europe. She helped lead the French national team to the 2015 European Ladies’ team championship, earned medalist honors at the 2014 ANNIKA Invitational Europe and was ranked No. 1 in the 2014 European Girls’ U-18 rankings.

“Marion is only going to get better,” Anderson said. “She can chip and putt better than anybody that I’ve seen in a long time. We’re working with her golf swing a little bit and she’s going to pick up some speed and some length with time. But her experience internationally, you can’t teach that. That’s what we look for and that’s what we love.”

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