March 17, 2018
No. 9 Women's Golf at Evans Derby Experience
AUBURN, Ala. -- No. 9 South Carolina women’s golf continues its spring slate this weekend at the 2018 Evans Derby Experience in Auburn, Ala. The 54-hole event, which takes place March 18-20, features a 12-team field at the Auburn University Club.
FROM THE COACH
“We played the SEC Tournament at this golf course years ago. There are a lot of elevation changes. It’s similar to Cobblestone, where we have been playing for the last couple of days. The field is very deep, and it should be a nice challenge. We need to do the same things that we’re doing. The greens can be severe in places, so we need to try and stay below the hole.” – South Carolina women’s golf coach Kalen Anderson
HISTORY AT THE EVANS DERBY EXPERIENCE
This season marks Carolina’s fifth appearance at the Evans Derby Experience and its first showing at the event since 2008. The Gamecocks saw their best finish in 2006 when they placed fifth at the tournament, which was previously known as the Auburn Tiger-Derby Invitational. The event, which began in 1994, last took place during the 2008-09 season.
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Six teams currently ranked inside the top 25 by Golfstat will be in action at the Evans Derby Experience. Second-ranked Alabama, third-ranked Arkansas, fifth-ranked Duke and ninth-ranked South Carolina mark the four top-10 participants, while No. 12 Florida and No. 22 round out the list of ranked schools in the field. The host Tigers, one of seven SEC schools in action this weekend, have won the tournament four times.
LAST TIME OUT
South Carolina posted a top-10 finish at the 2018 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate earlier this month, placing ninth with a 54-hole mark of 899 (+47). Marion Veysseyre tied for 22nd (+9) to pace the Gamecocks after opening the three-round event with an even 71. Fellow junior Gaby Amos (+12) earned her best collegiate finish (T36) in her season debut for Carolina. The Gamecocks ranked second in the 18-team field with 181 pars, while Amos paced all golfers with a 2.92 par-3 scoring average.
• 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 entered the spring ranked inside the top 15 by Golfstat for the third time in the last five years.
• Eight of Carolina’s 11 tournament victories during Anderson’s tenure have come in the spring.
• Carolina ranks in the top five in NCAA Division I in par-3 (4th) and par-4 (5th) scoring. Ainhoa Olarra is first nationally with a 2.86 par-3 scoring mark.
• Olarra has placed inside the top 25 in 11 of her last 12 events dating back to the start of 2017. The senior sports seven top-10 showings over that time.
• Eleven of the previous 12 Evans Derby Experience Champions have come from the SEC. Georgia, LSU and Auburn all boast multiple wins at the event.
• Olarra (25) and sophomore Ana Pelaez (42) are both currently ranked inside the top 50 of the World Amateur Golf Rankings.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina closes out the regular season at the 2018 Bryan National Collegiate in April. The three-round event at the Bryan Park Golf Course in Browns Summit, N.C., is set for Apr. 6-8.
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