Those two senior Katelyn Dambaugh and freshman Ana Pelaez are among the reasons South Carolina heads into the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship oozing with confidence.
In the Gamecocks’ two post-season tournaments, Dambaugh won the SEC individual title and Pelaez sharing the top spot in the NCAA Regional in Columbus, Ohio.
“It’s kind of sad that this will be my last college (and amateur) tournament; these four years have gone by so fast,” Dambaugh said.
Associate head coach Puggy Blackmon believes this could be the program’s best team — a impressive accolade since USC is one of only four teams to reach the national tournament in each of the last eight years.
Playing well at tournament time is the program’s trademark under coach Kalen Anderson.
They have been to nine nationals in Anderson’s 10 seasons, won five regional titles since 2010, including the last three in a row, and have a pair of fifth-place finishes in the national tournament.
“The kids get better and better and better under Kalen,” said Blackmon, a successful men’s coach at Georgia Tech and USC before becoming USC golf’s director of development and aid to the women’s program.