May 19, 2017
SUGAR GROVE, Ill. — South Carolina began play at the 2017 NCAA Women's Golf Championship Friday, posting a 313 (+25) in windy and cold conditions at Rich Harvest Farms. The No. 11 Gamecocks, who teed off in the afternoon session of round one, sit in seventh place through 18 holes of the six-day event.
No. 12 Northwestern fired a 12-over 300 to grab the lead Friday, while No. 14 Kent State (303, +15) sits in second. No. 25 Ohio State, No. 7 Arizona State, No. 1 Stanford and No. 17 Baylor are tied for third (311, +23), and Purdue's August Kim and Michigan's Elodie Van Dievoet hold the individual lead after shooting a 72 (E).
All 24 teams will play two more rounds of stroke play before the field is cut to 15 following Sunday's action. The top eight teams will advance to match play after the final day of stroke play on Monday.
Gamecock freshman Ana Pelaez paced Carolina Friday after shooting par or better on each of her final 10 holes. The Malaga, Spain, native, who sits in a tie for ninth, posted a front-nine 41 (+5) before finding her stroke after the turn. She opened her back nine with six-straight pars and closed her round with two birdies over her final three holes, tallying ones on the par-5 seventh and par-4 ninth.
Ainhoa Olarra (T13) also ended day one in the top-15 following her opening-round 76 (+4). The junior totaled 12 pars on her day and notched her lone birdie on the par-5 third. She ended her round with pars on four of her final five holes to post a back-nine 37 (+1).
Carolina senior Katelyn Dambaugh is tied for 57th through 18 holes after posting an 8-over 80 Friday. She improved as her round progressed and played her final nine holes at 1-over 37. The Goose Creek, S.C., native registered six pars after the turn and recorded a birdie on No. 5.
Quoting Coach Kalen Anderson
"They were so tough today. They persevered, and they were really determined. There was rain, wind and cold -- it was everything. This golf course is extremely difficult without those conditions. They just hung in there. It's a marathon this week, and they did a great job to come back on the back nine."
After carding a double-bogey on No. 17, Ana Pelaez settled in and shot par or better on each of her last 10 holes. Each of the freshman's team-high two birdies Friday came over the final three holes.
The Gamecocks are back on the course Saturday morning for round two of the NCAA Championship. Carolina, which will again be paired with Duke and Furman, will get its day started on hole No. 1 at 8:36 a.m. CT.
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