Co-medalist Ana Pelaez of South Carolina
(South Carolina Athletics Photo)
COLUMBUS, OH (May 10, 2017) - The Columbus Regional might have been played in Big 10 country but it certainly had an SEC feel. After 54-holes of play Florida and South Carolina have earned a share of the title at The Ohio State University Scarlet Course.
Florida, the winners of two straight regional titles, began the day ahead by one-stroke before finishing 22-over following an 8-over final round that included a handful of late bogeys. Leading Florida throughout the tournament was co-medalist Kelly Grassel.
"I am really proud of our team and I am happy to be moving on," Gator head coach Emily Glaser said. "Overall, today was not our best but we will take away a lot from this event."
Grassel, a transfer for Michigan State, closed with a 2-under 70 to post an even-par overall score. During the final round Grassel birdied four-times and bogeyed twice. The birdies came on Nos. 4, 8, 14 and 15.
Two other Gators finished in the top-26 and contributed to the team score all three days; Marta Perez (T11; +7) and Maria Torres (T26; +11).
"To be able to play on this type of course, under the pressure of regionals, the week before the National Championship is a huge advantage for us," continued Glaser. "This is the type of course where taking a mental vacation at any time will cost you dearly. We expect the NCAA Championship to be like that as well."
South Carolina, who has now won three straight NCAA regional titles and five in the last eight years, earned their share of the title thanks to an even-par final round that was powered by a trio of 2-under 70's.
One of the Gamecocks to sign for a 2-under 70 was co-medalist Ana Pelaez. Even-par for the tournament, Pelaez birdied five-times on Wednesday and had a chance to win the medalist title outright but she carded her third bogey of the round on the final hole.
South Carolina also received top-five performances this week from Katelyn Dambaugh (T3; +1) and Ainhoa Olarra (T5; +3). Both players turned in 2-under 70's as well on Wednesday.
The remainder of the medalist top-five included Marta Martin Garcia (Purdue) in a tie for third with Dambaugh at 1-over and Katja Pogacar (Ohio State) in a fifth place tie at 3-over with Olarra.
From each regional six teams will advance to the NCAA Championships.
Outside of Florida and South Carolina the teams advancing are Florida State (+27) in third, host Ohio State (+29) was fourth, Purdue (+40) took fifth while Michigan (+44) earned the final spot.
In addition to the teams moving on, the top-three individuals not on a qualifying team advanced to the NCAA Women's Championship. The group includes Cara Gorlei (Arkansas), Camila Serrano (FIU) and Maddie Szeryk (Texas A&M).
-Florida athletics contributed to this story
ABOUT THE NCAA Women's Central Regional
54 hole women's NCAA Regional from which the low
teams advance to the NCAA Championship.
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