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April 29, 2002

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina women’s golf team, fresh off capturing the SEC Championship April 21, has earned its seventh bid in eight years to participate in the NCAA East Regional, to be played May 9-11, in Baton Rouge, La., at the University Club.

Carolina comes into action as the No. 7 seeded team in the regional, and will tee off Thursday, May 9 at 9:30 a.m. (ET) off the No. 1 tee, and from the No. 10 tee at 1:40 p.m. (ET) Friday. A total of 21 teams and three individual participants will take part in the regional. The top eight teams and two individuals from non-qualifying teams will advance – along with eight teams and two individuals each from the Central and West Regionals – to the NCAA Championships, May 21-24, at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash.

“Our primary goal from day one has been to perform at a high level in the NCAA Championships in Washington,” said Head Coach Kristi Coggins, in her eighth year at Carolina. “Our bid to the NCAA East Regional, combined with our championship at the SEC Tournament, will give us the momentum to help our team achieve that goal.

“It is exciting to see the hard work and dedication to improving pay off for this talented team. And with our play this spring capped off at the SECs combined with the play from Kristy McPherson at the top of our lineup, our confidence is peaking at the right time of the year.”

In her eight years at South Carolina, Coggins has led the Lady Gamecocks to seven postseason appearances. In USC’s six previous appearances under Coggins, the Lady Gamecocks have advanced to the NCAA Championships four times, including finishing a school-best ninth at the 1995 event in Wilmington, N.C.

The Lady Gamecocks have been led all season by junior Kristy McPherson, who earned first-team All-American honors last year and who just captured her second-straight SEC individual title. The Conway, S.C., native has captured three tournaments this season and ranks among the nation’s top ten in terms of stroke average.