October 1, 2001
DESTIN, Fla. –
The South Carolina women’s golf team shot a 306 Sunday and finished in fourth place at the second-annual ACC/SEC Challenge at the The Raven Golf Course. In a tournament won by Florida, Lady Gamecock junior Kristi McPherson picked up where she left off last spring by capturing medalist honors on the par 72, 5,937-yard course. Also, for the second-straight year, the Southeastern Conference teams captured the conference championship.
McPherson, a 2001 first-team All-American who captured the 2001 SEC Championship, led the final two rounds and held on Sunday after shooting a final-round 76. Her three-day total of 217 was one stroke better than second-place finishers Sarah Johnston of Alabama and Anna Gertsson of Mississippi State, each whom made strong pushes on the final day. McPherson, a native of Conway, S.C., had five Top Five and eight Top 10 finishes in her sophomore season, and likes the way she started 2001-02.
“It took me a while to get used to tournament play again, and I wasn’t exactly hitting the ball where I wanted to off the tee,” said McPherson. “I did make a lot of putts and my short game was good, and I survived after playing not so well today to win. I am pleased to get a victory to start the fall, but my goal was for our team to win.”
The Lady Gamecocks had a strong top two in the tournament, their first of the 2001-02 season. Along with McPherson’s first place finish, newcomer and sophomore Adrienne Gautreaux fired a 74 Sunday and finished three strokes back of McPherson in fourth place in her first Gamecock tournament. Rounding out the Carolina contingent were senior Reetta Laakkonen (79 Sunday-239 total, T30th place), sophomore Kory Thompson (81-241, 35th), junior Kacy Thompson (78-243, 37th) and senior Sarah Kidd (78-245, T41st).
In the team competition, Florida led from start to finish and had the best round of the day Sunday (294). The Gators captured the team title with an 892 total, 12 strokes better than Mississippi State, which improved 11 strokes from Saturday with a 295 Sunday for a 904 total. Rounding out the top five were Wake Forest (909), South Carolina (917) and Furman (921).
Individually, McPherson led by five strokes entering the final round and in fact, had her lead over teammate Gautreaux who was in second place. But McPherson shot a five-over Sunday and held on to defeat Johnston and Gertsson. Johnston had a two-under 69 and Gertsson a one-under 70, but could not close any further as McPherson won her second title in four tournaments dating back to last season (she captured the SEC Championship in April, 2001). Rounding out the top five were Gautreaux and Florida’s Whitney Code (222). In fact, all five of Florida’s golfers finished in the top 18 of the tournament.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS
1 Kristy McPherson S Carolina 71 70 76 217 +4
4 Adrienne Gautreaux S Carolina 74 72 74 220 +7
30 *Reetta Laakkonen S Carolina 78 82 79 239 +26
35 Kory Thompson S Carolina 83 77 81 241 +28
37 Kacy Thompson S Carolina 82 83 78 243 +30
41 Sarah Kidd S Carolina 82 85 78 245 +32