March 31, 2016
|1. Katelyn Dambaugh
Low 54: 207
Low 18: 65
|2. Sarah Schmelzel
Low 54: 210
Low 18: 69
|3. Jia Xin Yang
Low 54: 221
Low 18: 71
|4. Marion Veysseyre
Low 54: 225
Low 18: 73
|5. Ainhoa Olarra
Low 54: 219
Low 18: 70
BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. – South Carolina women’s golf concludes regular-season play at the Bryan National Collegiate (April 1-3) in Browns Summit, N.C. The 54-hole event, which is hosted by UNC Greensboro and Wake Forest, will take place at the Bryan Park Champions Course and feature a 15-team field. The tournament will serve as a final tune-up for the Gamecocks before they open postseason play at the SEC Championship (April 15-17) in Birmingham, Ala.
This weekend will mark South Carolina’s 13th appearance at the Bryan National Collegiate. The Gamecocks, who boast top-10 finishes in each of their last five showings in the event, earned runner-up honors in their last appearance (2014) at the tournament with a 903 (+39). Sarah Schmelzel finished third and matched the second-lowest 54-hole total (215) for a freshman in program history at the 2013 Bryan National Collegiate, and she saw a 27th-place finish at the event in 2014.
COACH KALEN ANDERSON ON THE EVENT
“It gets quite windy out there on the golf course. It will really toughen the players, and that’s big for us heading into the postseason. It will be a huge momentum builder to get our attitude and games in the right place before the SEC Tournament. This is a really critical part of the season, and we’ve worked on having a lot more focus and sharpening up in practice.”
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Nine teams ranked in the top 50 in the latest Golfstat rankings (March 29) will be in action at the Bryan Park Golf Course. Two top-25 schools, Virginia (20) and Florida State (21), highlight the field, and the Seminoles and No. 28 East Carolina both come into the weekend with two tournament wins on the season. South Carolina sports a winning record this season against three teams (Kentucky, Miami and UCF) competing in the tournament.
RECAPPING THE WILDCAT INVITATIONAL
South Carolina tallied its fourth-straight top-10 finish following its seventh-place showing at the Wildcat Invitational in Tucson, Ariz., last month. Three Gamecocks finished in the Top 25, including junior Jia Xin Yang (221, +5), who posted her lowest 54-hole total since the 2014 ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Senior Sarah Schmelzel placed in a tie for 18th with a three-round score of 220 (+4), while junior Katelyn Dambaugh grabbed another top-10 finish after ending in seventh (216, E). Junior Marianna Monaco made her debut in South Carolina’s lineup and finished in a tie for 52nd following her two-day total of 229 (+13).
Junior Katelyn Dambaugh was tabbed the SEC Women’s Golfer of the Week earlier this month (March 16) following her ninth-place finish (216, E) at the Wildcat Invitational. Dambaugh has recorded top-10 finishes in each of her last four tournaments, and her 71.95 stroke average this season ranks fifth in the league. The accolade marked the fourth career weekly conference honor for Dambaugh.
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.
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Katelyn Dambaugh has notched top-10 finishes in five of her seven tournaments this season. The junior placed in a tie for second in two of her last four tournaments (FSU Match-Up, Landfall Tradition), and she saw a third-place showing in last September’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate. Dambaugh’s 71.95 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 ranks in the top 20 in Division I in four statistical categories this season. Her 71.95 stroke average stands as the 16th-best mark, and she is fifth in greens in regulation (75.9 percent), tied for 12th in par-5 scoring (4.75) and tied for 16th in birdies (73).
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 73.25. Senior Sarah Schmelzel (74.35) 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 opens postseason play later this month at the SEC Championship. The three-day event, which gets underway on April 15, will take place at the Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. The Gamecocks have earned top-three finishes in each of the last three years at the conference tournament, including runner-up honors in the last two seasons.