Gamecocks embrace expectations as No. 1 overall seed
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - South Carolina women’s golf enters postseason play as the team to beat. The Gamecocks are the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.
“It’s a testament to the great season we’ve had,” said Gamecocks head coach Kalen Anderson. “It’s a huge honor. Very proud of our players.”
The Gamecocks captured a program-best four tournament wins this season, finishing no lower than third in any event.
“Earlier in my career, we’ve been on the other side of it, being the underdog team,” mentioned Anderson. “Now the expectations are on us.”
Anderson believes the depth, talent, and experience give Carolina an edge each time on the links. A winning culture built on sacrifice throughout the unique season due to the pandemic.
“I have to give my players such credit for the sacrifices they made,” added Anderson. “Suddenly, they’re not socializing and going to class and doing the things they normally do. They’ve made massive sacrifices.”
The road to the top seed starts with sensational leadership. Fifth-year senior Ana Pelaez has had a remarkable road of growth to be playing the best golf in her final go with the Gamecocks.
“She came in as one of the world’s top juniors,” Anderson said. “She won regionals as a freshman. Like any young individual in college, you’re finding your feet and growing. She had a few ups and downs. The game is up and down. To see her be on top of her game has been such a fun thing to watch. She is just a treat on and off the golf course. Such a personality and spirit for the team. A huge energy boost for our program.”
Carolina begins NCAA Regional play on an unfamiliar course in Kentucky. Keys to playing well start and end with committing to their Gamecock process.
“Minimizing mental mistakes, minimizing three-putts, and getting the ball up and down,” said Anderson. “If we stick to that process and play to the best of our ability, we will have another successful week.”
Round one begins May 10th at the University of Louisville Golf Club in Simpsonville, Kentucky.
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