Sept. 24, 2016
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|1. Katelyn Dambaugh
Goose Creek, S.C.
|2. Ainhoa Olarra
San Sebastian, Spain
National School of Golf Blume
|3. Jia Xin Yang
|4. Marion Veysseyre
CNED Institut de Rennes
|5. Anita Uwadia
Hilton Head Prep
REUNION, Fla. – South Carolina is set to open its season this weekend at the 2016 ANNIKA Intercollegiate. The 54-hole event, which is hosted by UCF at Watson Course, takes place Sept. 25-27 in Reunion, Fla. This fall marks the third appearance at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate for the Gamecocks.
COACH Kalen Anderson ON THE EVENT
“We are excited to compete after several weeks of practice. The ANNIKA showcases the top teams in the country, and it is a good way to see where we stand early in the year. I’m excited about the depth of our team. It’s the most depth we have ever had since I have been here. That will prove to be a very big advantage, and the players will continue to push each other to get better.”
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Eleven of the 12 teams in action at the 2016 ANNIKA Intercollegiate finished last season in Golfstat’s Final Top-25 poll, including five programs ranked in the top 10. Three schools, UCLA (No. 1), Southern Cal (No. 2) and Duke (No. 4), rounded out the spring listed in the top-five, and 10 of this weekend’s participants qualified for the 2016 NCAA Championship. The Trojans, who check in at No. 2 in Golfweek’s first rankings of the fall, won the 2015 ANNIKA Intercollegiate, while Arizona and Arkansas rounded out the top three.
HISTORY AT THE ANNIKA INTERCOLLEGIATE
The Gamecocks have competed at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in each of the tournament’s first three years of existence. South Carolina claimed a seven-stroke victory in the inaugural event in 2014 with a 54-hole score of 854 (-10). Former Gamecock Justine Dreher grabbed medalist honors after totaling a 207 (-2), while current senior Jia Xin Yang finished just outside the top-20 in a tie for 22nd (218, +2).
South Carolina placed ninth at the tournament last year, posting a three-round total of 872 (+8). Two Gamecocks finished in the top 10, including current senior golfer Katelyn Dambaugh, who earned third-place honors after matching the program’s low 54-hole record.
- South Carolina enters its 10 season under head coach Kalen Anderson, who has guided the Gamecocks to eight tournament victories
- The Gamecocks placed seventh at the 2016 NCAA Championship, their second-best showing in program history
- South Carolina reached match play at the NCAA Championship this past spring for the first time in school history
- With their 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional title, the Gamecocks notched their fourth regional championship in the last seven years
- South Carolina is one of five schools to reach the NCAA Championship in each of the last seven years, and last season marked its 16th overall appearance
- Carolina’s 294.18 stroke average for the 2015-16 season was its third-lowest mark ever
- The Gamecocks, who are ranked No. 17 in Golfweek’s Preseason Poll, return seven letterwinners from last year’s team, including three-time All-American Katelyn Dambaugh
- Dambaugh’s 71.62 stroke average as a junior, the lowest single-season scoring mark in program history, ranked second in Division I
- Four golfers (Dambaugh, Ainhoa Olarra, Marion Veysseyre, Isidora Nilsson) return to South Carolina after competing at the 2016 NCAA Championship
- Dambaugh matched the program 54-hole record (207) at the 2015 ANNIKA Intercollegiate on the way to the first of six top-three finishes last season
- This year’s ANNIKA Intercollegiate features 2016 ANNIKA Award winner Bronte Law (UCLA), 2016 ANNIKA Award runner-up Katelyn Dambaugh and 2016 NCAA Individual Champion Virginia Elena Carta (Duke)
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina continues its fall season next month when it competes at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C. The three-day tournament takes place Oct. 2-4 at Yeamans Hall Club. This season marks the Gamecocks’ seventh appearance at the event and their first since 2013.