May 9, 2015
RALEIGH, N.C. - Top-seeded South Carolina fired a final-round 296 (+8) to clinch its third NCAA East Regional title since 2010 on Saturday at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, N.C. The Gamecocks finished the tournament with a 54-hole score of 877 (+13) and captured the win by eight strokes to advance to their sixth-straight NCAA Championship. Senior Justine Dreher earned her sixth top-five finish of the season, finishing the weekend at even-par.
The Gamecocks entered the day with an eight-stroke lead after posting the only under-par team score of the tournament (-2, 286) on Friday. Alabama and LSU each made runs at the Gamecocks, particularly on the front nine when Alabama drew within five on a few occasions, but South Carolina fought its way though a difficult back nine to stay on top.
Dreher continued her career of strong postseason play, registering her second-straight top-five finish and her sixth of the season. Her 54-hole score of 216 (E) tied her for fifth with two others. After making the turn at 1-over, the senior played bogey-free on the back nine and holed a birdie on No. 15 to finish the day with a 72 (E)
Sophomore Katelyn Dambaugh turned in her best round of the weekend with a 2-under 70 on Saturday. She did not post a bogey on the front nine and made the turn at 3-under. She went 1-over on her final nine holes and posted her best career regional result in a tie for 12th at 5-over (221).
Junior Sarah Schmelzel also posted her best NCAA Regional finish. The Gamecock struggled after the turn and carded a final-round 77 (+5). With a three-round score of 220 (+4), Schmelzel captured 11th place, her best result since the season-opening Florida State Match-Up (T9) in February.
After a solid front nine, junior Mary Fran Hillow was 5-over on the back to card a third-round 77 (+5). Hillow was the fourth Gamecock to earn a top-25 result, tying for 22nd with a 54-hole score of 224 (+8).
After making the turn at 6-over, sophomore Jia Xin Yang battled on the back nine, carding eight pars and a birdie to also end the day at 5-over (77). Yang finished with a three-round score of 229 (+13, T48).
Also advancing to the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla., are Northwestern (+21), host NC State (+23), Alabama (+24), LSU (+24) and Campbell (+28).
LSU's Madeline Sagstrom captured medalist honors by six strokes, finishing the weekend at 8-under (208). Coastal Carolina's Lena Schaeffner and LSU's Caroline Nistrup took second at 2-under, and Alabama's Emma Talley was fourth at 1-under. Dreher, Furman's Taylor Totland and NC State's Rachael Taylor tie for fifth (E).
South Carolina advances to the NCAA Championships in Bradenton, Fla. Twenty four teams and 12 individuals will compete in 54-holes of stroke play at The Concession Golf Club May 22-25. The top eight teams advance to match play to determine the team champion May 26-27.
T5. Justine Dreher 71-73-72=216 (E)
11. Sarah Schmelzel 74-69-77=220 (+4)
T12. Katelyn Dambaugh 78-73-70=221 (+5)
T22. Mary Fran Hillow 76-71-77=224 (+8)
T48. Jia Xin Yang 74-78-77=229 (+13)
1. South Carolina 295-286-296=877 (+13)
2. Northwestern 302-292-291=885 (+21)
3. NC State 290-306-291=877 (+23)
T4. Alabama 294-295-299=888 (+24)
T4. LSU 288-304-296=888 (+24)
6. Campbell 293-305-294=892 (+28)
7. Ohio State 292-304-300=896 (+32)
8. Florida 299-307-296=902 (+38)
9. Coastal Carolina 303-290-310=903 (+39)
T10. Furman 298-308-298=904 (+40)
T10. Iowa State 303-303-298=904 (+40)
12. Mississippi State 300-306-299=905 (+30)
13. UCF 296-303-309=908 (+44)
14. College of Charleston 304-305-301=910 (+46)
15. GRU Augusta 303-309-300=912 (+48)
16. Wichita State 312-312-306=930 (+66)
17. Seton Hall 309-318-311=938 (+74)
18. Fairleigh Dickinson 328-331-327=986 (+122)
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