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2020 Women's Golf Season Thread


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The past year for the South Carolina Women's Golf program was a story of ups and downs, and then potentially ups again. That final chapter is writing itself right now.

The program has been developed into an SEC and national powerhouse under head coach Kalen Anderson: the Gamecocks were SEC Tournament runners-up in 2015 and 2018, while winning three consecutive NCAA Tournament Regionals from 2015-17. The Gamecocks finished 10th in the NCAAT Regionals in both 2018 and 2019, failing to make the final cut of best 6 team scores.

Coming into the 2020 season the Gamecocks had perhaps one of their most deep and talented teams in memory. But it all came to an abrupt end in March, when the NCAA shut down all athletic program activities going forward due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This was particularly heartbreaking for two Gamecock seniors in Lois Kaye Go and Ana Pelaez. But things seemed to re-align themselves when the NCAA chose to give seniors an extra year of player-eligibility, and both Go and Pelaez - All-Americans both - chose to return to USC to make one more run at a National Championship. They join returning sophomore Pauline Roussin-Bouchard, who tore up the USC record book for a freshman earning two First-Team All-America honors, breaking multiple program records, and holding on to the No. 1 spot in the women's World Amateur Golf Ranking for most of the season.

It doesn't stop there. Returning players Mathilde Claisse and Smith Knaffle, and incoming freshmen Paula Kirner and Kaiyuree Moodley provide tremendous depth of talent and experience.

Last but not least, the COVID-19 crisis allowed for the addition of Kent State transfer Pimnipa Panthong. Panthong, a former 2017 MAC Freshman of the Year, 2-time MAC Golfer of the Year and 3-time All-American at Kent State, was initially looking to continue her career at the professional level. But the LPGA Q-Series, which Panthong was set to join, delayed their 2020 season to begin in 2021 due to the pandemic. So with Panthong suddenly having an open year AND an additional year of NCAA playing eligibility, she chose to transfer to South Carolina. 

So the team returns intact from last season, and with additional talent - essentially our version of a women's golfing "Dream Team". So can they re-ignite the excitement they held for 2019-2020, before its sudden end??

 

 

https://rankings.golfweek.com/rankings/index.html?T=wt

 

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WEST POINT, Miss.  –  The University of South Carolina's women's golf team finished strong to secure the team championship at The Ally, while sophomore Pauline Roussin-Bouchard used a lights out performance to make history at the Old Waverly Golf Club on Wednesday.   

Roussin-Bouchard continued her blistering performance from Tuesday by shooting a 7-under 65, tying her lowest round as a Gamecock, to finish with a 14-under 202, the lowest 54-hole tournament score in program history. The sophomore tallied seven birdies in the final round to secure her second tournament win, joining some elite company as just the sixth Carolina golfer to win multiple tournament championships. Roussin-Bouchard now has four top-5 finishes, and six top-10 finishes in her Carolina career.

https://gamecocksonline.com/news/2020/10/21/womens-golf-gamecocks-and-roussin-bouchard-take-top-honors-at-the-ally.aspx

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