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May 22, 2002

AUBURN, Wash. – The 22nd-ranked South Carolina women’s golf team posted its second-straight 10-over 298 Wednesday and fell to 11th place after two rounds of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at Washington National Golf Club. Carolina, however, remains in the hunt at just seven strokes out of the top five with seventh-ranked Arizona continuing to lead the pack on the par 72, 6,424-yard course.

The third of four rounds gets underway at 11 a.m. (EDT) Wednesday. The Lady Gamecocks will tee off at 11:50 a.m. (EDT) from the No. 1 tee.

South Carolina remains in the hunt to post its best finish ever in the NCAA Championships as the Lady Gamecocks look to best a ninth-place finish at the 1995 event in Wilmington, N.C. Carolina shot an identical 10-over-par 298 score for the second-straight day and at 20-over 596 is alone in 11th place overall after starting the day in a five-way tie for fourth. Carolina is just five strokes out of sixth place and only 15 strokes back of second-round leader Arizona and the Wildcats’ two-day 581 total.

South Carolina junior All-America Kristy McPherson, the two-time defending SEC champion, returned to form with a one-under 71, moving up 33 places to a tie for 22nd at three-over 147 through two rounds. McPherson shot a four-over 76 in Tuesday’s first round, but carded her 14th round of par or better Wednesday in leading the Lady Gamecocks. Sophomore Reetta Laakkonen rebounded from a triple bogey seven on her first hole of the day to post two birdies on the final three holes and card a two-over 74. Laakkonen remains USC’s top performer with a two-over 146 and is in a tie for 17th place.

Carolina sophomore Adrienne Gautreaux also rebounded from a slow start (double bogey first hole) to finish with a three-over 75 and in a tie for 41st place at 149. Sophomore Marci Robinson and junior Kacy Thompson fired identical 78 scores and are tied for 81st place at 154.

Seventh-ranked Arizona set the standard in Tuesday’s first round with a three-under 285, and although the Wildcats ballooned to an eight-over 296 Wednesday, remains six strokes ahead of second-ranked Duke with a two-round 581 total. Duke had a 293 Wednesday and is in second place at 587, while Georgia and Oklahoma are one stroke back (588), with the Sooners moving from ninth to third with a one-over 289 Wednesday. Florida rounds out the top five at 589, while Ohio State and Texas are tied for sixth at 591 after Texas’s Wednesday team low score of two-under 286.

Duke’s Virada Nirapathpongporn followed up a four-under 68 Tuesday with a three-under 69 Wednesday to remain in the lead with a seven-under 137 total. Georgia’s Summer Sirmons, however, had a four-under 68 Wednesday and has forged a tie with Nirapathpongporn through 36 holes. The nation’s top-ranked player, Arizona’s Lorena Ochoa, moved from 10th to third place with a 69 and two-day 140 total. Texas’s Jamioe Olivenoia and Lindsey Wright of Pepperdine are tied for fourth place at three-under 141.


 11    South Carolina      298  298   596T17   Reetta Laakkonen     72   74   146T22   Kristy McPherson     76   71   147T41   Adrienne Gautreaux     74   75   149T81   Marci Robinson     76   78   154T81   Kacy Thompson     76   78   154