THE CAPTAIN'S TIME KATELYN DAMBAUGH'S RUN TO THE 2017 SEC TITLE

Katelyn Dambaugh had knocked on the door at the SEC Championship as a sophomore and junior. The Goose Creek, S.C., native tied for fourth in 2015 before earning runner-up honors last year following her final-round 66 at the 2016 SEC Championship.

This year's conference tournament was again contested at the Legacy Course at Greystone Golf & Country Club, a favorite of Dambaugh's. A wrist injury prevented the Carolina standout from practicing much leading up to the 2017 SEC Championship, but the senior had always played well at the event - she boasted a sub-par scoring average throughout her first three appearances at the league tournament.

An opening-round 68 (4) put Dambaugh in a tie for first through 18 holes, and she posted a 70 (-2) in Saturday's second round to end the day two shots off the lead. She saved her best for the final day and carded a 66 (-6) to finish at 12-under 2014. Her three-day total, the lowest 54-hole score in tournament and school history, secured the long-awaited title for the Gamecock captain.

"Besides the Darius, this is the one tournament I wanted to win before I left. And I did."

ROUND 1

Carolina coach Kalen Anderson kept Katelyn Dambaugh focused and loose throughout her run to the 2017 SEC Individual Title.

Three-straight birdies on her front nine keyed Dambaugh's opening-round 68 (-4). The senior seized momentum as she approached the turn, notching birdies on Nos. 6, 7, and 8 to post a front-nine 32 (-4). She was steady over her final nine holes after registering seven pars to go with a birdie on the par-5 18th.

ROUND 2

Dambaugh posted a second-round 70 (-2) behind an eagle on the par-4 seventh.

Dambaugh remained steady in Saturday's second round en route to a 2-under 70. She totaled 15 pars during a round that was highlighted by an eagle on the par-4 seventh. The Carolina native holed out from 88 yards after spinning the ball back towards the pin, which was positioned at the back of the green. She recorded a par on each of her final nine holes, including No. 17 when she converted a key sand save.

Her effort Saturday put her two shots off the lead in a stacked field that featured six top-20 teams. Eight golfers entered the tournament listed inside Golfstat's Top-25 individual rankings, including Dambaugh, who checked in at No. 18.

“The SEC is the best of the best. I think being able to win that says a lot.”

ROUND 3

Dambaugh celebrated her record showing with her coach and family.

For the second-straight year, Dambaugh went low on the last day and carded a final-round 66 (6). A birdie on the par-3 second dropped her to 7-under and put her one stroke off the lead before she again found her stroke down the stretch of her front nine. She birdied No. 7 and nearly aced the par-3 eighth, lipping out from over 170 yards away. Dambaugh settled for a tap-in birdie on the hole, and she converted another short birdie putt on No. 9 after sticking her approach shot to one foot.

“It was like 170. I hit a 6 iron, and it lipped the hole. I was like 'Ok, this might be my day.' When I hit it to a foot on nine, I knew we really had something going.”

Dambaugh moved to 11-under for the tournament and four shots clear of the field with a birdie on No. 11. She bounced back from a bogey on No. 13, notching her sixth birdie of the day on the par-4 16th after draining a putt from off the green. Following a par on No. 17, Dambaugh put herself in position to again go for the green in two on No. 18. Her approach shot landed in the same left greenside bunker she found herself in during round two.

With plenty of green to work with, the senior delivered a great show from the bunker that set up another short birdie attempt. Dambaugh knocked in the putt and made history, finishing with the lowest 54-hole mark in tournament history. After sharing the moment with Gamecock coach Kalen Anderson, Dambaugh celebrated with her parents before turning in her record scorecard. She held a four-shot lead, and the Carolina standout eventually claimed a one-stroke victory over Georgia's Harang Lee. Her long-awaited SEC Title was here.

"It kind of just hit me – Did that really just happen?"

THE NUMBERS BEHIND THE TITLE

2 • Dambaugh now owns 2 of the top five 54-hole totals at the SEC Championship. Her 209 (-7) at the league tournament in 2016 stands as the fifth-best mark in conference championship history.

3 • The captain's 204 (-12) bested the previous low 54-hole mark at the SEC Championship by 3 strokes.

4 • Dambaugh is one of 4 golfers in school history to notch multiple wins throughout her collegiate career. Both of her victories have come in postseason play.

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