March 13, 2016
|1. Katelyn Dambaugh
Low 54: 207
Low 18: 65
|2. Ainhoa Olarra
Low 54: 219
Low 18: 70
|3. Sarah Schmelzel
Low 54: 210
Low 18: 69
|4. Marion Veysseyre
Low 54: 225
Low 18: 73
|5. Marianna Monaco
Low 54: 234
Low 18: 74
TUCSON, Ariz. – South Carolina women’s golf continues its spring season this week at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz. The two-day event, which features 15 teams, will take place at the Sewailo Golf Club, and each school will play 36 holes on Monday before competing in Tuesday’s 18-hole final round. The University of Arizona, one of three schools ranked in the Top 25 participating at the tournament, will host the event.
In action this week for the Gamecocks will be senior Sarah Schmelzel, juniors Katelyn Dambaugh and Marianna Monaco, sophomore Ainhoa Olarra and freshman Marion Veysseyre. This will be Monaco’s first appearance in South Carolina’s lineup after the Yonkers, N.Y., native played as an individual at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate earlier this month. Junior Jia Xin Yang will also be representing the Gamecocks in Arizona, competing as an individual.
This will be South Carolina’s first-ever appearance at the Wildcat Invitational. The two-day event began in 2011, and past champions of the tournament include host Arizona as well as the current No. 3 team in the country, USC, which won the Wildcat Invitational last spring.
COACH KALEN ANDERSON ON THE EVENT
“I’m really pleased with the toughness and perseverance of the team in our last tournament. I feel good about our momentum moving into our next event. I am looking forward to a change of scenery out in Arizona and a successful week.”
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Three teams ranked in the Top 25 of the latest Golfstat poll (March 8) highlight this week’s field at the Wildcat Invitational. Host Arizona (No. 12) marks the highest ranked team at the tournament, and Arizona State (No. 14) and UNLV (No. 24) will also be in action. The Wildcats and Rebels have both tallied tournament victories this season, notching wins during the fall.
RECAPPING THE DARIUS RUCKER INTERCOLLEGIATE
South Carolina climbed up the leaderboard on the final day of the fifth annual Darius Rucker Intercollegiate to finish in a tie for eighth (887, +35) at the 54-hole event. The host Gamecocks were led by junior Katelyn Dambaugh (T-7), who notched her fourth top-10 finish of the season after posting a three-day total of 217 (+4). Sophomore Ainhoa Olarra continued her strong play this spring with a 26th-place finish (222, +9), while freshman Marion Veysseyre placed in a tie for 39th after tallying a career-best 225 (+12). Veysseyre posted a new low 18-hole mark with a 2-over 73 in the second round at Long Cove Club. Alabama earned its third title at the tournament after totaling an 868 (+16), while Virginia (875, +23) and Duke (878, +26) rounded out the top three.
STRONG START TO THE SPRING
The Gamecocks opened their spring slate with their best finish of the 2015-16 season, a second-place showing at the FSU Match-Up (Feb. 12-14). South Carolina totaled a three-day score of 875 (+11), and three Gamecock golfers notched top-10 finishes, including junior Katelyn Dambaugh, who placed second at 1-under 215. Senior Sarah Schmelzel was 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.
NEARING THE TOP 25
The Gamecocks, who began the spring ranked No. 43 by Golfstat, have moved up to No. 29 in the national poll following their eighth-place finish at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate. South Carolina comes in at No. 28 in the latest Golfweek poll (March 9).
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Katelyn Dambaugh has notched top-10 finishes in four of her six tournaments this season. The junior placed in a tie for second in two of her last three tournaments (FSU Match-Up, Landfall Tradition), and she saw a third-place showing in last September’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Dambaugh’s 71.94 stroke average is on pace to break South Carolina’s single-season scoring average, and the Third Team Preseason All-American has finished par or better in nine rounds during her junior campaign.
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.
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
South Carolina resumes play this spring at the Bryan Park Intercollegiate in Greensboro, N.C. The three-day event, which gets underway on Fri., Apr. 1, takes place at the Bryan Park Golf Course. It will be the Gamecocks’ 13th appearance at the event and the first since 2014, when South Carolina earned runner-up honors with a 39-over 903. The tournament will serve as the final tune-up for South Carolina before the SEC Championship (Apr. 15-17) at Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.