May 6, 2018
No. 9 Women's Golf at NCAA San Francisco Regional
SAN FRANCISCO — No. 9 South Carolina women's golf is set to compete at the NCAA San Francisco Regional this week at TPC Harding Park. The 54-hole event, which takes place May 7-9, features an 18-team field. The top six teams from the San Francisco Regional will advance to the 2018 NCAA Championship. Carolina, the No. 3 seed in the region, will aim to capture its fourth-straight NCA Regional Title.
FROM THE COACH
"We're excited to be here and have the chance to compete. It's going to be a very competitive week -- everyone is going to be bringing their best golf. We need to just stay patient like we've done all year, and good things will happen." -- South Carolina women's golf coach Kalen Anderson
HISTORY AT NCAA REGIONALS
This year marks Carolina's 25th NCAA Regional appearance and the ninth time it has qualified for the postseason under head coach Kalen Anderson. The Gamecocks have finished atop the leaderboard at their NCAA Regional five times in the last eight years, capturing the NCAA East Regional in 2010, 2012 and 2015 before winning the 2016 Baton Rouge Regional and 2017 Columbus Regional. Carolina sophomore Ana Pelaez won the individual title in Columbus last spring, while senior Ainhoa Olarra (T5) also grabbed a top-five finish at the event.
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Six teams ranked inside the top 25 by Golfstat will be in action at TPC Harding Park. No. 1 UCLA, No. 5 Stanford and No. 9 South Carolina mark the three top-10 schools in the field, while No. 16 Kent State, No. 17 Oklahoma State and No. 24 North Carolina round out the list of ranked participants. The Gamecocks are one of six schools in the San Francisco Regional who advanced to the 2016 NCAA Championship last spring.
LAST TIME OUT
South Carolina earned runner-up honors at the 2018 SEC Championship after falling to Arkansas 3-2 in the match play finals on Apr. 22. Senior Ainhoa Olarra totaled a 54-hole mark of 209 (-7) and defeated Maria Fassi of the Razorbacks in a playoff to capture the individual title at the conference tournament. All five golfers grabbed top-25 showings for the Gamecocks, who earned the top seed in the eight-team match play bracket at Greystone Country Club after finishing atop the leaderboard with a three-round mark of 867 (+3).
South Carolina enters its 11th season under head coach Kalen Anderson, who has guided the Gamecocks to 11 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 have boasted multiple All-Americans in each of the last four seasons. Eight of the program's 10 All-Americans have played under Anderson.
Eight of Carolina's 11 tournament victories during Anderson's tenure have come in the spring.
The No. 9 Gamecocks enter the postseason ranked inside the top 15 by Golfstat for the third time in the last five years.
The Gamecocks are the only program in NCAA Division I to finish first at their NCAA Regional in each of the previous three years.
Carolina advanced to the NCAA Championship in its only two regional appearances out West: 2011 (Auburn, Wash.) - 6th; 2014 (Stanford, Calif.) - 4th.
A Gamecock has earned a top-five finish individually in six of the team's last seven events.
Gamecock standout Ainhoa Olarra has placed inside the top 25 in 14 of her last 15 events dating back to the start of 2017. The senior sports nine top-10 showings over that time.
Olarra (2018 SEC Championship and 2018 FSU Match-Up Medalist) is one of three players in program history to notch two or more wins in a single season.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina will advance to the NCAA Championship for the ninth-straight year with a top-six finish at the San Francisco Regional. The NCAA Championship will feature a 24-team field and take place May 18-23 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla. The six-day event includes two cuts during stroke play before the eight-team match-play bracket is determined. Carolina has boasted a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championship in each of the previous two years.
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