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May 23, 2002

AUBURN, Wash. – The 22nd-ranked South Carolina women’s golf team recorded its tournament high score of 20-over-par 308 Thursday and fell to 19th place after three rounds of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championships at Washington National Golf Club. Seventh-ranked Arizona leads for the third-straight day, but the Wildcats’ margin was closed by Texas and Duke with 18 holes to play on the par 72, 6,424-yard course.

The final round gets underway at 11 a.m. (EDT) Friday.

While the Lady Gamecocks got a solid performance from its All-American, Kristy McPherson, the remainder of the South Carolina lineup had its worst performance of the tournament. McPherson posted a two-over 74 and is in 23rd place overall with a 221 three-day total. Senior Reetta Laakkonen shot an 80 Thursday and dropped 42 spots to 59th place with a three-day 226 total. Sophomore Adrienne Gautreaux had a 78 in the third round and her 227 leaves the Mabank, Tex., native in 66th place. Rounding out Carolina’s individuals in the championships are junior Kacy Thompson (77 Thursday, 231, 89th place) and sophomore Marci Robinson (79, 223, 100th). Laakkonen, Gautreaux and Robinson each posted their highest rounds of the championships.

In the team competition, Arizona, who led by nine strokes after one round and by seven after 36 holes, shot a five-over 293 Thursday and had its lead cut to two strokes by Texas, who fired a Thursday-low 285 Thursday. Arizona has a three-day 874 total and is followed by the Longhorns at 876. No. 2 Duke had a two-over 290 Thursday and is one stroke back of Texas at 877. Auburn also had a three-under 285 Thursday and has moved into fourth place at 883, while Georgia and Florida are tied for fifth at 884 – giving the Southeastern Conference three of the top six teams entering the final round.

Duke’s Virada Nirapathpongporn maintained the lead for the third-straight day, shooting a 70 Thursday to expand the margin to three strokes over second-round co-leader Summer Sirmons of Georgia. Nirapathpongporn has a three-day 207 and is followed by Sirmons’ 210 total. Arizona’s Lorena Ochoa is in third place at five-over 211, while Auburn’s Danielle Downey and Lindsey Wright of Pepperdine are tied for fifth place at four-under 212. Carolina’s McPherson is just five strokes out of the top 10 at five-over 221.


T19 South Carolina  298 298 308 904T23     Kristy McPherson   76  71  74  221T59     Reetta Laakkonen   72  74  80  226T66     Adrienne Gautreaux   74  75  78  227T89     Kacy Thompson     76  78  77  231T100    Marci Robinson   76  78  79  233