After stellar first years at South Carolina, sophomore golfers Hannah Darling and Louise Rydqvist are making a statement this summer competing at the biggest tournaments in women's amateur golf.
Darling has excelled at the collegiate level, placing second twice last season including at Annika Intercollegiate Sept. 13-15. She also had three top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes and six top-20 finishes.
Darling's second top-two finish came at the Valspar Augusta Invitational on March 12-13, where she and Rydqvist helped lead the Gamecocks to a first-place tie with Ole Miss.
“We kinda had to survive yesterday and they did a really good job, considering the conditions,” head coach Kalen Anderson said. “We have some few things to work on but certainly we can never complain when we win an event.”
Over the summer, Rydqvist and Darling have individually competed in tournaments to gain practice and experience.
The British Women's Amateur Championship is one of the biggest women’s golf tournaments that attracts only the top amateur golfers. Darling and Rydqvist both made it to the semifinals, showing they haven't lost momentum in their game since the season ended.
Despite losing in the semi finals, Darling emphasized what it meant to her to be in the semi finals with her Gamecock teammate.
“We work together all the time at South Carolina,” Darling said. “Whatever happens tomorrow, it's going to be a good day for Gamecock women’s golf.”
Rydqvist barely snuck by to qualify for the finals, beating Spain’s Carla Bernat Escuder on the 18th hole.
“There's no better feeling than actually winning on 18 and there's no better feeling of winning when you've been down the whole day and you've been just fighting it through,” Rydqvist said. “As I said, I can't describe the feelings I'm feeling right now.”
Although the championship ended in defeat for the Gamecock, losing to England’s Jess Baker, Rydqvist, who competed for Sweden, was still proud of her overall performance and feels she's at the top of her game.
“I’m very proud of myself. It's been an absolute incredible week and this is my biggest achievement in my golf career so far,” Rydqvist said. "I’m very, very happy with what I've done.”
Darling participated in the 2022 Curtis Cup from June 10-12, representing both Great Britain and Ireland. Despite the countries coming together to form one team, they lost to the United States in the end. Darling, however, won multiple matches with the help of England's Annabell Fuller, who's a senior golfer at Florida.
At the European Ladies’ Team Championship from July 5-9, Rydqvist also continued her success, helping to lead team Sweden to a fourth-place finish scoring an average of 75, the second highest on the team. Darling competed for team Scotland, placing sixth in the team tournament.
Rydqvist finished her freshman year with the second lowest team average, 73.96, right behind Darling who averaged 72.70.
With the Gamecocks, Rydqvist finished a best fourth place at the Landfall Tradition on Oct. 29-31, 2021. In the 2021-2022 season, she had two top-five finishes, two top-10 finishes and five top-20 finishes.
Both Gamecocks will return to South Carolina in the fall in hopes of continuing the success they had this summer.