WGOLF: Carolina Tied For Sixth Through 18 Holes of NCAA Columbus Regional

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – South Carolina women’s golf opened play at the NCAA Columbus Regional Monday, carding a first-round 309 (+21) in windy conditions at the OSU Golf Club. The No. 12 Gamecocks, the third seed in the regional, sit 11 shots off the lead in a tie for sixth through 18 holes of the three-day event.

Fourth-ranked Florida holds the lead after opening with a 9-over 297 on the Scarlet Course, while No. 5 Florida State is in second following its 11-over 299 in round one. Purdue and Ohio State are tied for third (302, +14), and Marta Martin Garcia of the Boilermakers sits atop the individual leaderboard at 2-under 70.

The top six teams from the Columbus Regional will advance to the 2017 NCAA Championship, scheduled for May 19-24 in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Gamecock junior Ainhoa Olarra and freshman Ana Pelaez each carded a 4-over 76 to pace Carolina and end Monday’s action in a tie for 19th. Olarra totaled 12 pars to go with a birdie on the par-3 eighth. She shook off a pair of early bogeys and made the turn at 1-over 37 following the birdie on No. 8, and the San Sebastian, Spain, native registered six pars on her back nine.

Pelaez opened her day with six-straight pars and notched her first birdie of the round on No. 8. After tallying bogeys on Nos. 10 and 12, the Carolina newcomer bounced back with another birdie on the par-4 16th.

Senior Katelyn Dambaugh sits in a tie for 22nd after firing a 5-over 77. She led the Gamecocks with three opening-round birdies, recording ones on Nos. 6 and 12 before adding another one on the par-5 14th.

Jia Xin Yang will enter the second round in a tie for 52nd following her 8-over 80 Monday, while Carolina sophomore Marion Veysseyre opened with a 10-over 82. Veysseyre sits in a tie or 73rd through one day of action.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS
T19. Ainhoa Olarra 76 (+4)
T19. Ana Pelaez 76 (+4)
T22. Katelyn Dambaugh 77 (+5)
T52. Jia Xin Yang 80 (+8)
T73. Marion Veysseyre 82 (+10)

TEAM STANDINGS
1. Florida 297 (+9)
2. Florida State 299 (+11)
T3. Purdue 302 (+14)
T3. Ohio State 302 (+14)
5. Texas A&M 308 (+20)
T6. South Carolina 309 (+21)
T6. Arkansas 309 (+21)
8. San Jose State 310 (+22)
9. Michigan 312 (+24)
10. Colorado 313 (+25)
T11. Louisville 314 (+26)
T11. Wisconsin 314 (+26)
13. Delaware 320 (+32)
14. Houston 323 (+35)
15. Missouri State 324 (+36)
16. Kentucky 326 (+38)
17. Old Dominion 327 (+39)
18. Cleveland State 340 (+52)

QUOTING HEAD COACH KALEN ANDERSON
“We didn’t have our best day, but we’re right there in it. We’re just going to have to be very patient and play tough the next few days. We just need to take it one shot at a time, and it’s going to be a marathon out there. I think it’s going to come down to the wire with a lot of these teams.”

ROUND CHANGER
Freshman Ana Pelaez bounced back from bogeys on Nos. 10 and 12 with a birdie on the par-3 16th. The Malaga, Spain, native was one of two Gamecocks to boast multiple birdies in the first round.

NOTABLES
>> South Carolina’s 3.10 par-3 scoring average ranks second in the field through 18 holes of the Columbus Regional.
>> The Gamecocks totaled the fourth-most pars (51) among the 18-team field in round one.
>> Gamecock freshman Ana Pelaez is tied for first in the field in par-3 scoring with a mark of 2.75.
>> Each of Katelyn Dambaugh’s three birdies Monday came on par-5 holes. Her 4.25 par-5 scoring average is tied for first at the tournament.

UP NEXT
The Gamecocks are back on the course Tuesday morning for the second round of the NCAA Columbus Regional. Carolina will play with San Jose State and Michigan and get its day started on No. 1 at 7:30 a.m. ET.

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