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May 10, 2002

BATON ROUGE, La. – The 21st-ranked South Carolina women’s golf team shot an improved score of five-over 293 Friday and moved up three places to sixth after two rounds of the NCAA East Regional at the University Club on the campus of Louisiana State University. Duke scorched the course for an eight-under 280 Friday and has a five-stroke lead on Florida with 18 holes to play in the tournament.

The third and final round gets underway at 9 a.m. (ET) Saturday. After play Saturday, the top eight teams and three individuals from non-qualifying teams will advance to the NCAA Championships, May 21-24, in Auburn, Wash. The Lady Gamecocks have a two-day 591 total and are four strokes ahead of a current three-way tie for that eighth and final spot for nationals.

South Carolina improved by five strokes from Thursday’s opening round despite watching junior All-America Kristy McPherson card her highest back-to-back rounds since February. McPherson, who two weeks ago captured her second-straight SEC individual title in leading Carolina to the team crown, had a four-over 76 Friday, actually shooting a five-over 41 on the back side for only her fifth round above 75 all spring. McPherson, with a two-day 151 total, is tied for 53rd place overall.

Lady Gamecock sophomore Adrienne Gautreaux is putting together her best collegiate tournament. She followed up Thursday’s 75 with the second-lowest day of all 107 golfers in the field at three-under 69. Gautreaux moved from 43rd to ninth place and is six strokes off the individual lead with a two-day 144. Sophomore Columbia native Marci Robinson had her second-straight 74 and at 148 is tied for 29th place. Rounding out the Lady Gamecock individuals were junior Kacy Thompson (74, 152, 51st place) and senior Reetta Laakkonen (77, 151, 53rd place).

In the team competition, Duke moved into first place with its 280 score Friday and at 571 over two rounds has a five stroke lead over Florida (576). Top-ranked Auburn (580), Wake Forest (581) and South Florida (585) round out the top five with the Lady Gamecocks (591) showing up just six strokes out of the top five and just four strokes ahead of Saturday’s cut line for the national competition in two weeks.

Individually, Duke’s Leigh Anne Hardin paced the Blue Devil charge with a five-under 67. At 138, she has a one stroke lead over Auburn’s Celeste Troche, who had a 70 Friday. Louisiana State’s Meredith Duncan and Jameica Duncombe of South Florida are tied for third at 140, while Memphis’ Meaghan Francella rounds out the top five at three-under 141. Carolina’s Gautreaux is three strokes back of Francella with her two-day, even-par 144.


  6   South Carolina      298  293  591T 9   Adrienne Gautreaux     75   69  144T29       Marci Robinson     74   74  148T61       Kacy Thompson   78   74  152T53       Reetta Laakkonen     74   77  151T53       Kristy McPherson     75   76  151