Sept. 14, 2017
No. 13 Women's Golf at Mason Rudolph Championship
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- No. 13 South Carolina women’s golf opens its 2017-18 campaign this weekend at the Mason Rudolph Championship. The 54-hole event, which will be contested at Vanderbilt Legends Club, takes place Sept. 15-17 in Nashville, Tenn. The tournament marks the first of four events for the Gamecocks this fall.
FROM THE COACH
“We’re excited to open up. We played the NCAA Championship there in 2012, so it’s a golf course I am familiar with. It’s going to be a challenging golf course, but it should be soft after the rain. It’s a great layout, and the greens are tough. We’ve been really consistent in the top-four spots (in practice), and we’ve played very solidly. We’re just ready to get out there and see where we stand.” – South Carolina women’s golf coach Kalen Anderson
HISTORY AT THE MASON RUDOLPH CHAMPIONSHIP
This week will mark Carolina’s sixth appearance at the Mason Rudolph Championship and the second time it has competed at the event in the last three years. The Gamecocks saw their best finish at the tournament in 2003 when they placed 11th out of 17. Carolina tied for 12th at the 2015 Mason Rudolph Championship with the help of a final-round 72 (E) from then-sophomore Ainhoa Olarra. The San Sebastian, Spain, native is the only Gamecock who has competed at the tournament prior to this week.
BREAKING DOWN THE FIELD
Ten of the 15 schools in action at the 2017 Mason Rudolph Championship qualified for NCAA postseason play last season, and seven participants reached the 2017 NCAA Championship. Notable teams in the field include 2017 NCAA national champion Arizona State and 2017 national runner-up Northwestern. The fourth-ranked Sun Devils and sixth-ranked Wildcats join No. 3 Alabama, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 13 South Carolina and No. 23 Clemson on the list of schools listed in Golfweek’s Preseason Top-25 Poll who will be competing in Nashville this weekend. The Crimson Tide have won the event in each of the last two seasons.
• South Carolina enters its 11th season under head coach Kalen Anderson, who has guided the Gamecocks to 10 tournament victories.
• The Gamecocks earned the program’s best finish (5th) at the NCAA Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club back in 2012.
• 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.
• Pelaez, who posted the lowest stroke average ever by a Carolina newcomer, became the first freshman in program history to be tabbed an All-American.
• Carolina’s 291.48 scoring average in 2016-17 stands as the best single-season scoring mark in school history.
• Olarra enters her senior season with the school’s fifth-lowest (74.26) career scoring average. She boasts top-10 finishes throughout her time at Carolina.
UP NEXT FOR THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina continues its fall season next month when it competes at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate in Eden Prairie, Minn. The three-day tournament takes place Oct. 1-3 at Olympic Hills Golf Club, and this season marks the Gamecocks’ fourth appearance at the event.
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