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Sept. 5, 2003

The University of South Carolina women’s golf team departs for Japan on Saturday, September 6th to participate in the prestigious 2003 TOPY Cup. One of only two American collegiate women’s golf teams invited to play in the three-day golf tournament, the Gamecocks and California-Berkeley will represent the United States against four women’s teams from Japan.

Before the South Carolina golfers can get on the Japanese links to play for the Topy Cup, the ladies must endure a very long flight by crossing the international date line and 17 time zones. The team leaves Saturday morning at 8:00 and doesn’t land in Tokyo until Sunday at 3:00 p.m.

The five members of the South Carolina squad will be paired up with two Japanese golf teams in Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday’s rounds at the Tanagura Densha Country Club while California-Berkeley will also face two Japanese teams in their bracket. An overall champion will be named after the three-day competition concludes on Thursday.

The Gamecocks will then travel back to Tokyo Thursday on the famous “Shinkansen”, or Bullet Train, which reaches speeds up to 150 miles per hour. The golfers will have all Friday to sight-see in Tokyo before departing Saturday morning for the long flight back to Columbia.

“We are one of only two universities in the United States to be invited to participate in The Topy Cup in Japan,” said South Carolina head coach Kristi Coggins. “It is the most prestigious invitation in women’s collegiate golf and is a reward for the consistency this golf team has shown over the last few years. We have selected five of our most experienced golfers to go on the trip; Team captain Adrienne Gautreaux, Marci Robinson, Kory Thompson, Tiffany Catafygiotu and Laura McCaslin.

“We’re definitely going there to win and bring home the team and individual medalists. This is the first tournament of the year and we want to get a jump on our season goals.”