The Daily Gamecock

Women's golf finishes 3rd in final fall event

A week ago, the women's golf team earned back its spot at No. 1 in the nation in both Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat rankings.

This weekend, the Gamecocks finished off their fall schedule and didn't do much to sacrifice that top-overall spot.

South Carolina finished in a tie for third at the Landfall Tradition in North Carolina after Sunday's final round, shooting 871 (+7) as a team.

"We battled back from a tough start [Sunday]," head coach Kalen Harris told "The team showed a lot of character. We had a respectable finish [Sunday] and a fall season to be proud of."

The Gamecocks were once again led by standout freshman Nanna Madsen, who rounded out her first fall season with a second-place individual finish in the competition.

In the tournament prior to the Landfall, Madsen earned first-place honors. But her efforts this weekend were, in some ways, better than the performance she turned in during the previous match.

The freshman's 210 (-6) for the tournament is the best tally of her young career, and the number is the third-lowest mark in South Carolina's program history. Her second-place finish in the Landfall is the best-ever outing from a Gamecock in that specific tournament.

The next-closest South Carolina golfers to Madsen's score were senior Justine Dreher and sophomore Katelyn Dambaugh, who shot a 220 (+4) and a 221 (+5), respectively. Though they were separated by just one stroke, the clustered nature of the Gamecocks' field of competition resulted in a tie for 24th for Dreher and a tie for 34th for Dambaugh.

Dreher's best round came on the final day of competition, when she turned in a 71 (-1) to lead South Carolina.

In a fall season that is widely recognized as the best ever for the Gamecocks, the team competed in four events and didn't finish worse than third in any.

South Carolina began the year by stunning the field at the ANNIKA Intercollegiate, earning the No. 1 spot in the tournament. The Gamecocks didn't experience much of a drop-off after that, finishing second at the Tar Heel Invitational then taking the top spot again at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship.

The team's third-place finish to end the fall means it won't surprise anyone come January when South Carolina returns to action. The Gamecocks are scheduled to participate in four more tournaments in the spring season before postseason action begins in the SEC and NCAA's.