South Carolina sets program record, wins PING/ASU Invitational
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Seventh-ranked South Carolina finished with an 11-under 853, which is a program record, at the PING/ASU Invitational to claim first place. The Gamecocks shot a 3-under 285 in Sunday’s final round at the ASU Karsten Golf Course.
"We had a very impressive week," head coach Kalen Harris said. "Everyone contributed with an important round. Katelyn [Dambaugh] had a 4-under on Day 1, Sarah [Schmelzel] was four under on Day 2 and Samantha [Swinehart] shot a 6-under on Day 3. Justine [Dreher] played steady as usual and Suzie [Lee] was solid in her final two rounds. The team didn't let up and played to win."
This is the Gamecocks’ second title of the season and they close out the regular season with seven-consecutive top-five finishes. South Carolina finished the tournament ahead of four teams ranked higher than it in the Golfstat Top 50, including No. 2 UCLA and No. 3 Duke. No. 11 Washington and No. 6 Arizona State tied for second place, six strokes behind South Carolina with a 54-hole score of 859 (-5).
Four golfers wrapped up the event in the top 20 with Samantha Swinehart leading the way. Swinehart fired a 6-under 66 in the final round, which is a career-low, on her way to a total score of 211 (-5), also a career-low. She concluded the tournament in a tie for third place, which marks her second top-five finish of the season. Katelyn Dambaugh (T-12th), Justine Dreher (T-12th) and Sarah Schmelzel (T-20th) also finished in the top 20.
Dambaugh and Dreher each finished with an even-par 216. Dambaugh earned her fifth top-20 finish of the season after carding a 1-over 73 in the final round while Dreher carded her third-straight round of 72 (E) on Sunday and has now placed in the top-20 six times this season.
Schmelzel concluded the event with a total score of 218 (+2) after shooting a 5-over 77 in the third round. She has now placed in the top-20 three times this season.
Senior Suzie Lee turned in a 2-over 74 on Sunday as she finished in a tie for 33rd place with a 221 (+5).
Sophomore Mary Fran Hillow, who competed in the tournament as an individual, shot a 3-over 75 in the third round. Hillow finished with a total of 224 (+8) and tied for 47th place.
Celine Boutier of Duke claimed the individual title with an 8-under 208. Noemi Jimenez of Arizona State took second place with a 6-under 210.
The Gamecocks will be back in action April 18 in the first round of the 2014 SEC Championship. The 54-hole event will be held at the Greystone Golf Club in Birmingham, Ala.