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March 2, 2016

TOURNAMENT LINEUP
1. Katelyn Dambaugh
2015-16 Stats
Events: 5
Rounds: 15
Average: 71.87
Low 54: 207
Low 18: 65
2. Sarah Schmelzel
2015-16 Stats
Events: 5
Rounds: 15
Average: 72.80
Low 54: 210
Low 18: 69
3. Ainhoa Olarra
2015-16 Stats
Events: 5
Rounds: 15
Average: 75.13
Low 54: 219
Low 18: 70
4. Jia Xin Yang
2015-16 Stats
Events: 5
Rounds: 13
Average: 77.77
Low 54: 225
Low 18: 74
5. Marion Veysseyre
2015-16 Stats
Events: 1
Rounds: 3
Average: 79.00
Low 54: 237
Low 18: 75
The Field
Team (Rank*)
1. Alabama (4)
2. Arkansas (3)
3. Auburn (58)
4. Duke (2)
5. Furman (27)
6. Georgia (5)
7. Kentucky (84)
8. LSU (51)
9. Mississippi State (61)
10. North Carolina (45)
11. Oklahoma State (10)
12. South Carolina (37)
13. USC (1)
14. Tennessee (21)
15. Vanderbilt (42)
16. Virginia (32)
17. Wake Forest (54)

* Golfstat ranking as of March 1

Tournament Quick Facts

Dates: March 4-6

Location: Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Course: Pete Dye Course at Long Cove Club

Par: 71

Yards: 6,208

2015-16 Schedule
Dates Event Finish
Sept. 18-20 Mason Rudolph Championship
Franklin, Tenn.
12th of 17
Sept. 27-29 ANNIKA Intercollegiate
Reunion, Fla.
9th of 12
Oct. 9-11 Ruth’s Chris Invitational
Chapel Hill, N.C.
11th of 18
Oct. 23-25 The Landfall Tradition
Wilmington, N.C.
9th of 18
Feb. 12-14 Florida State Match-Up
Tallahassee, Fla.
2nd of 12
March 4-6 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
March 14-15 Wildcat Invitational
Tucson, Ariz.
Apr. 1-3 Bryan Park Intercollegiate
Greensboro, N.C.
Apr. 15-17 SEC Championship
Birmingham, Ala.
May 5-7 NCAA Regionals
TBA
May 20-25 NCAA Championships
Tulsa, Okla.

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The South Carolina women’s golf program is set to host the fifth annual Darius Rucker Intercollegiate from March 4-6 in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The 54-hole event, which will once again take place at the Pete Dye Course at Long Cove Club, pairs country music star and Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker with many of the top women’s collegiate golf programs. Representing the Gamecocks at the tournament are senior Sarah Schmelzel, juniors Katelyn Dambaugh and Jia Xin Yang, sophomore Ainhoa Olarra and freshman Marion Veysseyre. Freshman Isidora Nilsson and junior Marianna Monaco will also be in action, competing in the event as individuals. The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate will be Monaco’s first tournament for South Carolina.

This weekend marks the fifth appearance at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate for the host Gamecocks. South Carolina has tallied top-five finishes in each of the last two seasons at the event, finishing fifth both years. The Gamecocks’ three-day total of 886 (+34) in 2014 was the lowest 54-hole score for them in tournament history, and South Carolina posted an eighth-place showing in the event’s first year of existence in 2012. Former Gamecock standout Katie Burnett holds the best individual finish for a South Carolina golfer at the event, as she placed sixth in 2012 with a 1-over 143.

The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate was created five years ago when former South Carolina men’s golf coach and current women’s golf associate head coach Puggy Blackmon came up with the idea to combine a popular rock band with a collegiate golf event. Blackmon pitched the idea to Rucker in 2010, and the South Carolina alumnus showed interest in joining the efforts to create the annual golf tournament. For more information on the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, visit the Tournament Website and view the event’s Quick Facts.

COACH KALEN ANDERSON ON THE EVENT

“It’s a special week for everyone. The event is first class, and you feel like you’re at a championship when you’re there. It prepares us for the postseason, and it’s a great experience for us to see where we are early in the spring. We’re very excited to be hosting it.”

BREAKING DOWN THE DARIUS RUCKER INTERCOLLEGIATE

This year’s tournament will feature seven teams ranked in the Top 25 in the latest Golfstat poll, including each of the country’s top five programs. Top-ranked USC headlines the group, and No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Arkansas, No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 Georgia will also be in action. Oklahoma State (No. 10) and Tennessee (No. 21) mark the other Top 25 schools in this year’s field, while the host Gamecocks enter the tournament ranked No. 37. Eleven of the 17 teams competing at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate qualified for the 2015 NCAA Championships, and eight schools in the field have won a tournament this season.

RECAPPING THE FLORIDA STATE MATCH-UP

The Gamecocks boasted their best finish of the 2015-16 season at the FSU Match-Up (Feb. 12-14), earning runner-up honors with a three-day total of 875 (+11). Three South Carolina golfers notched top-10 finishes, including junior Katelyn Dambaugh, who finished in a tie for second at 1-under 215. Senior Sarah Schmelzel placed fourth after totaling an even 216, while Ainhoa Olarra tied for eighth (219, +3). Olarra’s performance marked her lowest career 54-hole total and the first top-10 finish for the sophomore.

MOVING ON UP

The Gamecocks, who began the spring ranked No. 43 by Golfstat, have moved up to No. 37 in the national poll following their second-place finish at the FSU Match-Up. South Carolina sits just outside of the top 30 in the latest Golfweek poll (Feb. 24) at No. 31.

MODEL OF CONSISTENCY

Katelyn Dambaugh has notched top-three finishes in three of her five tournaments this season. The junior placed in a tie for second in each of her last two tournaments (FSU Match-Up, Landfall Tradition), and she saw a third-place showing in last September’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Dambaugh leads the Gamecocks with a 71.87 scoring average this season, and the Third Team Preseason All-American has finished par or better in eight rounds during her junior campaign.

RECORDS FALLING

Junior Katelyn Dambaugh matched her career-best 65 at the 2015 ANNIKA Intercollegiate, once again tying the program’s low 18-hole record. Her performance that weekend tied the school’s low 54-hole record of 207. She is currently on pace to break the school’s career scoring average record with a mark of 73.33. Senior Sarah Schmelzel (74.38) also sits in the top five (4th) on South Carolina’s career scoring average list. Her 54-hole score of 210 at the 2015 ANNIKA Intercollegiate ranks sixth on the school’s all-time list.

FALL WRAP-UP

The Gamecocks, who competed in four events during the fall, saw a strong finish to their year when they fired a season-low 283 (-5) in the final round of the Landfall Tradition. South Carolina’s ninth-place finish at the event marked the second top-10 showing of the fall for the Gamecocks, who placed ninth at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate (Sept. 27-29). Junior Katelyn Dambaugh paced South Carolina with two top-three finishes and a 71.92 stroke average this fall, while Sarah Schmelzel finished in the top 20 in two events. The senior’s 6-under (70-69-71=210) at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate marked the lowest 54-hole total in her collegiate career.

UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS

The Gamecocks return to action on Mon., March 14, when they begin play at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The two-day event, which takes place at Sewailo Golf Club, will be hosted by the University of Arizona.

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