May 9, 2017
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Sparked by under-par rounds from freshman Ana Pelaez and senior Katelyn Dambaugh, South Carolina moved up to fourth place at the NCAA Columbus Regional following the conclusion of day two of the 54-hole event. The No. 12 Gamecocks posted the low round of the day at OSU Golf Club, firing a 1-over 289 to bring its 36-hole total to 598 (+22).
Fourth-ranked Florida remain atop the leaderboard with a two-round score of 590 (+14), while Ohio State (591, +15) and No. 5 Florida State (597, +21) round out the top three. Texas A&M's Maddie Szeryk carded a second-round 70 (-2) to grab the 36-hole individual lead (143, -1).
The top six teams from the Columbus Regional will advance to the 2017 NCAA Championship, set for May 19-24 in Sugar Grove, Ill. The Gamecocks currently sit 11 shots clear of the seventh-place Aggies.
Pelaez and Dambaugh each posted a 2-under 70 Tuesday to push Carolina up the leaderboard. For the second-straight day, Pelaez boasted a strong start to her round, notching six pars and birdies on Nos. 2 and 8 en route to a front-nine 35 (-1). The freshman, who sits just three shots off the individual lead in a tie for fourth, remained steady after the turn and shot par or better on each of her final nine holes. Her last birdie of the day came on the par-5 14th.
Dambaugh continued to collect birdies in the second round, tallying a team-high five for the day. She posted a front-nine 34 (-2) following a birdie on No. 2 and another one on No. 9, as the Goose Creek, S.C., native converted a long putt just before the turn. After recording bogeys on Nos. 11 and 12, Dambaugh bounced back and finished strong with birdies on three of her final five holes. The senior's two-round mark of 147 (+3) puts her in a tie for ninth with 18 holes to play.
Carolina junior Ainhoa Olarra sits in a tie for 14th (149, +5) after shooting a 1-over 73 Tuesday. She totaled 13 pars throughout round two and found her stroke down the stretch, registering birdies on the par-4 16th and par-3 17th. Olarra's 25 pars through two rounds are tied with Pelaez for the team lead.
Marion Veysseyre improved upon her first-round showing and shot a 4-over 76 to end the day in a tie for 61st (158, +14). The sophomore boasted four birdies, three of which came after the turn. She notched back-to-back birdies on Nos. 13 and 14 before recording the final one of her day on the par-4 16th.
Gamecock senior Jia Xin Yang fired an 11-over 83 to end round two in a tie for 81st (163, +19). She carded one birdie for the day, registering it on the par-5 14th.
Quoting Coach Kalen Anderson
"They were so tough and resilient today, and this was the round we needed to hang in there. We need to have another really good round tomorrow, but I'm very proud of the group. I love the way they're playing. They stayed patient and stuck to the game plan."
Ana Pelaez was steady throughout Tuesday's second round, shooting par or better on 17 of 18 holes. The freshman's 25 pars through two days are the third-highest total in the field.
The Gamecocks conclude play at the NCAA Columbus Regional Wednesday. Carolina will play alongside Michigan and Purdue and get its final round started at 8:24 a.m. ET on No. 1.
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