Gamecocks Finish 20th at NCAA Championship
May 24, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- The South Carolina women's golf team turned in a final-round 310 (+22) to move up two spots to finish in 20th place at the NCAA Championship on Friday at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
The Gamecocks wrapped up the week with a total of 1,211 (+59), which matches the fourth lowest 72-hole total in school history. With high winds for the first time this week, the scores were much higher on the final day, with only five golfers turning in a round under par. Sophomore Justine Dreher carded one of the best rounds of the day as she posted a 1-over 73 to lead Carolina and finish the week in a tie for 48th with a total of 300 (+12).
"The conditions were very different today," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "The wind was blowing really hard. It was just kind of a day of survival out there. Justine Dreher played extremely well. A round of 1-over is probably going to be one of the low rounds today. Anything around even is pretty phenomenal. That really helped today, and the rest of team hung in there. We started the first two days pretty rough and came back with a good round yesterday and really hung tough today relative to a lot of the teams this morning. We will take the top-20 finish and be fine and set our sights higher next year. Overall, it was a good week for a young group based on the way we started out the week."
Dreher, whose total matches the 10th lowest 72-hole score in school history, began the day on the 10th hole and found red numbers early as she birdied the par-5 12th. However, she gave the stroke back with a bogey on the 11th as she went on to finish the side at even par. After a bogey on the third hole, she made six consecutive pars to get into the clubhouse at 1-over.
Junior Suzie Lee posted a final-round 77 (+5) to finish the tournament in a tie for 68th with a total of 304 (+16). Lee made the turn at 3-over and bogeyed the first two holes of the back nine but she came up big for the Gamecocks down the stretch, making seven straight pars to end her round.
After shooting a final-round 79 (+7), freshman Sarah Schmelzel tied for 73rd with a total of 305 (+17). She recorded two birdies, three bogeys and three double bogeys on the afternoon. She wrapped up the year with a school-record scoring average for a freshman of 74.78, breaking Katie Burnett's mark of 75.27 from the 2008-09 season.
In her final tournament as a Gamecock, senior Meredith Swanson shot a final-round 82 (+10) to finish in a tie for 97th with a total of 309 (+21). Rounding out the lineup, freshman Mary Fran Hillow carded an 81 (+9) on Friday to finish in a tie for 109th with a total of 313 (+25).
Top-ranked Southern California claimed both the team and individual national title. The Trojans won by 21 strokes with a total of 1,133 (-19). Southern California's Annie Park claimed the individual title with a total of 278 (-10). Duke claimed second with a total of 1,154 (+2), followed by Purdue (1,173), UCLA (1,174) and Arizona State (1,181).
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T48. Justine Dreher (4) 77-77-73-73=300 (+12) T68. Suzie Lee (1) 74-78-75-77=304 (+16) T73. Sarah Schmelzel (3) 76-80-70-79=305 (+17) T97. Meredith Swanson (2) 79-74-74-82=309 (+21) T109. Mary Fran Hillow (5) 77-76-79-81=313 (+25)