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March 16, 2002

The South Carolina women’s golf team fired a 300 Saturday and remains in third place at its own Lady Gamecock Classic at The University Club. Third-ranked and four-time defending champion Duke had a two-under 286 team score Saturday and vaulted to first place, leading eighth-ranked Texas by 15 strokes with one round to play on the par 72, 5,996-yard course.

The third and final round gets underway at 8 a.m. Sunday with teams starting from both the No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Admission to the tournament is free.

It was another nice day on the course, but high winds and tough pin placements helped lead to higher scores than the first round. Duke and New Mexico (298) were the only two teams with sub-300 scores, compared to six teams Friday, while only four individuals shot at par or better, compared to 11 Friday. This year’s Lady Gamecock Classic features the best field in the history of the event as nine of the nation’s Top 25 teams and eight of the top 19 golfers are participating in the event.

Duke, which shot a 290 Friday and was in second place, improved four strokes with a strong one-two-three punch at the top of the lineup. The Blue Devils (576 two-day total) opened up a 15-stroke lead on No. 8 Texas (591). South Carolina, ranked 33rd in the latest Sagarin/Golfweek national rankings, is ahead of seven teams in the Top 25 after 36 holes and is just four strokes back of the Longhorns. New Mexico (598) and No. 4 Tennessee (602) round out the top five teams.

Although the Lady Gamecock team score went up five strokes from Friday, Carolina Head Coach Kristi Coggins continued to get great play from the top of her lineup. Junior All-American Kristy McPherson had a two-under 70 Saturday, and combined with her 72 Friday, is tied for second at two-under 142. Sophomore Adrienne Gautreaux is tied for fifth at two-over 146 after a 75 Saturday. Senior Reetta Laakkonen had a 79 Saturday and is tied for 31st place at 152, while sophomore Marci Robinson (76-155, 39th place) and junior Kacy Thompson (80-162, 64th) round out the Carolina team scorers. USC sophomore Kory Thompson (80-163, 67th place) and freshman Tiffany Catafygiotu (84-164, 71st) played for individual honors only.

In the individual competition, Duke’s Niloufar Aazam-Zanganeh had a three-under 69 Saturday and leads by two strokes with a two-day 140 total. McPherson and Duke’s Virada Nirapathpongporn are tied for second with two-day 142 totals, while the Blue Devils’ Leigh Anne Hardin is fourth at even-par 144. Four players are tied for fifth place at two-over 146.

3 South Carolina, U of 295 300 595
T 2 Kristy McPherson 72 70 142
T 5 Adrienne Gautreaux 71 75 146
T 31 Reetta Laakkonen 73 79 152
T 39 Marci Robinson 79 76 155
T 64 Kacy Thompson 82 80 162
T 67 Kory Thompson 83 80 163
71 Tiffany Catafygiotu 80 84 164