Feb. 8, 2018
No. 7 Women's Golf at FSU Match-Up
TALLAHASSEE, Fla, -- No. 7 South Carolina women's golf opens the spring season this weekend at the fifth annual Florida State Match-Up in Tallahassee, Fla. The 54-hole event, which takes place Feb. 9-11, features a 12-team field at the Don Veller Seminole Course.
FROM THE COACH
"They're ready to go -- we're getting excited and a little antsy. We've had some good qualifiers, and they've looked sharp. Florida State has a good golf course that is scorable. Our wedge game needs to really sharp, and we need to make some putts. If we can get out there and be sharp with our scoring clubs and make some putts, we'll be in it." -- South Carolina women's golf coach Kalen Anderson
HISTORY AT THE FLORIDA STATE MATCH-UP
This weekend marks the fifth appearance at the Florida State Match-Up for Carolina. The Gamecocks, who won the 2014 FSU Match-Up with a 54-hole mark of 871 (+7), have finished second at the tournament the last two seasons. Senior Ainhoa Olarra has finished inside the top 10 in each of the last two years, while sophomore Ana Pelaez earned runner-up honors at the event in 2017 after totaling the lowest three-round score (208, -8) ever by a Gamecock freshman.
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Three teams ranked inside the top 25 in the latest Golfstat Poll will compete at the Florida State Match-Up. The No. 7 Gamecocks are the highest ranked participant, while No. 13 Michigan State and No. 16 Virginia will also be in action. Florida State, South Carolina and the Spartans mark the three schools in the field that qualified for the 2017 NCAA Championship.
RECAPPING THE FALL
The Gamecocks moved into the top 10 in the final Golfweek (6) and Golfstat (7) polls of 2017 after closing the fall with back-to-back top-five finishes. Carolina, which placed inside the top 10 in each of its four fall events, finished third at the Tar Heel Invitational (Oct. 13-15) with a program-record 846 (-18) before grabbing fourth-place honors at the Landfall Tradition (Oct. 27-28). Senior Ainhoa Olarra led the Gamecocks in the fall with a 70.82 stroke average and closed 2017 with five straight rounds of par or better, while sophomore Lois Kaye Go finished under par in three of Carolina's four tournaments.
South Carolina enters its 11th season under head coach Kalen Anderson, who has guided the Gamecocks to 10 tournament victories.
Carolina is one of four schools to reach the NCAA Championship in each of the last eight years, and last spring marked its 17th overall appearance.
The Gamecocks won the 2017 NCAA Columbus Regional title to earn their third-straight regional championship this past spring.
Carolina has boasted multiple All-Americans in each of the last four seasons. Eight of the program's 10 All-Americans have played under Anderson.
The Gamecocks enter the spring ranked inside the top 15 by Golfstat for the third time in the last five years.
South Carolina's 3.05 par-3 scoring average (5) and 4.08 par-4 average (5) both rank in the top five among NCAA Division I schools.
Three or more Gamecocks have placed inside the top 10 at the Florida State Match-Up in each of the two previous seasons.
Ainhoa Olarra has placed inside the top 25 in 10 of her last 11 events dating back to the start of 2017. The senior sports six top-10 showings over that time.
Olarra (30) and sophomore Ana Pelaez (36) are both currently ranked inside the top 40 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina resumes its spring slate next month when it hosts the seventh annual Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The 54-hole event, which takes place March 2-4, will again play host to a competitive field at Long Cove Club.
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