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Oct. 8, 2004

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Irmo native Erica Battle shot a four-over-par 76 to lead the South Carolina women’s golf team in day one action at the Franklin Street Partners Invitational played at the University of North Carolina Finley Golf Course Friday.

Starting their action on the course’s 10th hole, the Gamecocks struggled as a team, combining to post a 27-over-par 317 on the day and finish the first round in eighth place of the nine teams competing.

Battle, competing in her first tournament of the fall season, overcame a rocky start that saw her take a triple-bogey on the 10th hole and a double-bogey on the 11th hole. Battle fought back to shoot par or better on each of the remaining holes on the course’s back nine, securing birdies on the par-three 14th hole and on the par-five 17th to finish her first nine holes at three-over-par. Moving to the course’s first hole, Battle went double-bogey, bogey on number one and number two, then responded with a birdie on number three. She closed her day out by achieving par on holes four, five, six and seven before picking up a birdie on the par-three eighth and a par on the par-four ninth.

Freshman Whitney Simons made her first competitive appearance in a Gamecock uniform Friday, finishing her first day by shooting a seven-over 79. The front nine proved to be a challenge for the freshman, as she posted five bogeys and a double-bogey five on the par-three 14th. Simons recovered, however, and was solid on the course’s front nine, shooting even par on every hole with the exception of the par-four second (bogey) and the par-five sixth (birdie).

The usually-steady Jenna Pearson struggled to an eight-over-par 80 on Friday. A double-bogey on number 10 got her off to a bad start, and she stayed at two-over after four consecutive pars. The par-four 15th hole put Pearson in an even deeper hole, as she took an eight. Pearson posted back-to-back pars on 16 and 17 before finishing her first nine holes on a high note with a birdie on the par-four 18th. She shot par on each of the course’s first six holes, then took a double-bogey six on the par-four seventh hole, and finished her day with a bogey on the par-four ninth.

Following a solid effort in her first collegiate tournament last week, freshman Blythe Worley shot an eight-over-par 80. Worley got off to a solid start and sat at one-over-par through her first six holes. However, Worley suffered through an eight on the par-four 16th hole and found herself in a spot in which she had to claw her way back. It appeared that she was well on her way by achieving par on the 17th and 18th holes, then again on the first hole. Worley got a stroke back by getting a birdie on the second hole, then got another par on the third. A pair of bogeys on the course’s fourth and fifth hole moved her to six-over-par for the day, where she remained after shooting par on the sixth, seventh and eighth holes. The ninth hole put a sour cap on Worley’s day, as she wrapped up with a double-bogey six.

Junior Laura McCaslin made her first appearance in the Gamecock lineup this fall and finished the first round with a 10-over-par 82. Though a birdie on the course’s 18th hole served as a highlight, McCaslin suffered through a total of nine bogeys and a double-bogey on the day.

Day two action at the three-day tournament starts tomorrow. .