Gamecock golfer sets record to win SEC Championship

Gamecock golfer sets record to win SEC Championship

HOOVER, AL (WIS) - University of South Carolina senior Katelyn Dambaugh carded a final-round 66 (-6) en route to medalist honors at the 2017 SEC Championship Sunday afternoon at Greystone Golf & Country Club in Hoover, AL. Her three-round mark of 204 (-12), a new tournament and school record, secured a one-shot victory for the Goose Creek, S.C., native, who becomes the second Gamecock to capture SEC Championship Medalist Honors.

"It's the best feeling ever," Dambaugh said. "I have been so close recently, and I love coming here. Being able to win at one of my favorite golf courses is pretty special. I just went out there and played, and me and coach just went out there and tried to have fun. She said if we had fun, we'd do some special things – and we did."

Through Dambaugh's efforts, the No. 11 Gamecocks finished in a tie for fifth at the event with a three-day total of 860 (-4). Carolina moved up the leaderboard following its final-round 284 (-4), while No. 8 Florida won the team title with a mark of 842 (-22). Top-ranked Alabama and No. 6 Georgia rounded out the top three after sharing second-place honors with a 54-hole total of 855 (-9).

Sunday's win marked the second career victory for Dambaugh, who grabbed medalist honors at the 2016 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional last May. The senior joins former Gamecock standout Kristy McPherson (1999-2003) on the list of Carolina golfers to win the individual title at the SEC Championship. McPherson won back-to-back conference medalist honors from 2001-2002.

Junior Ainhoa Olarra finished tied for 25th (218, +2) after shooting a 3-under 69 Sunday to move 15 spots up the leaderboard. The San Sebastian, Spain, native totaled four birdies on her day, starting with back-to-back ones on Nos. 6 and 7. She made the turn at 1-under 35 and added birdies on Nos. 11 and 12 before notching pars on each of her final six holes.

Ana Pelaez placed in a tie for 30th with a three-day total of 220 (+4). The freshman was impressive in her postseason debut, carding a 2-under 70 on Friday before posting a 1-over 73 in Saturday's second round. The Carolina newcomer ended her weekend with a 5-over 77 on the final day.

Senior Jia Xin Yang boasted her best round of the tournament Sunday, carding a 1-over 73. Yang, who finished in a tie for 42nd (224, +8), registered birdies on Nos. 6 and 13 to go with 13 pars. She closed her round with five-straight pars following her birdie on the par-3 13th. Freshman Marion Veysseyre fired a 4-over 76 in the third round and ended her week tied for 36th with a 54-hole mark of 222 (+6). Veysseyre recorded one birdie on her round, carding it on the par-5 third.

South Carolina resumes postseason play next month at the NCAA Regionals, set for May 8-10. This year's regional sites are Athens, Ga., Columbus, Ohio, Lubbock, Texas and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Gamecocks will learn their regional fate during the NCAA Division I Women's Selection Show, which airs on Golf Channel on Thu., Apr. 27, at 11 a.m. ET.

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