May 18, 2017
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 11 South Carolina opens play at the 2017 NCAA Women's Golf Championship this Friday in Sugar Grove, Ill. The six-day event, which takes place May 19-24, features a combination of stroke and match play at Rich Harvest Farms. Each school will play 54 holes of stroke play before the 24-team field is cut to 15 after Sunday's third round.
A fourth round of stroke play will narrow the field to eight teams, who will advance to the match play portion of the tournament. The match play quarterfinals and semifinals will take place on Tues., May 23, before the NCAA Champion is determined following Wednesday's title match. Golf Channel will provide live coverage of the final day of stroke play and each of the three match play rounds.
COACH Kalen Anderson ON THE EVENT
"We've had a great week of focused preparation. I believe that our regional site in Ohio was a good preparation for this week's venue at Rich Harvest Farms, and the team has gained confidence from it. We will have another marathon week where patience and mental toughness prevails."
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Seventeen teams competing at the 2017 NCAA Championship head into the event listed in Golfstat's Top-25 Poll. Second-ranked Florida and No. 3 Alabama, two of eight top-10 schools in action this week, join the No. 11 Gamecocks as the three SEC participants at the tournament. Carolina is one of 15 schools in the field who played at the 2016 NCAA Championship.
HISTORY AT THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
This year marks the Gamecocks' 17th NCAA Championship appearance. Carolina, one of four schools to advance to the NCAA Championship in each of the last eight years, equaled its highest finish ever at the event with a fifth-place showing in 2016. The Gamecocks reached the match-play portion of the tournament for the first time in program history last season before falling to Stanford in the quarterfinals. Each of Carolina's top-two finishes at the NCAA Championship have come under coach Kalen Anderson, and senior Katelyn Dambaugh and junior Ainhoa Olarra both notched top-20 finishes at the event a year ago.
LAST TIME OUT
South Carolina rallied from eight shots back and carded a final-round 288 (E) to claim its third-straight NCAA Regional title last week at OSU Golf Club. The Gamecocks, who boast five regional championships since 2010, totaled a three-round mark of 886 (+22) to finish tied with Florida atop the Columbus Regional. Carolina's Ana Pelaez shared medalist honors after posting a 70 (-2) in the second and third rounds en route to a 54-hole mark of 216 (E). The win marked the first career victory for the freshman standout, who sports four top-15 finishes this spring. Gamecock senior Katelyn Dambaugh (T3) and junior Ainhoa Olarra (T5) also placed inside the top five at the three-day event. Olarra's showing in Columbus marked the best finish of her collegiate career.
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