March 12, 2006
Blythewood, S.C. – Final round action wrapped up Sunday at the 2006 Lady Gamecock Classic with No. 6 Auburn emerging as the team champion with a three-round score of 304-278-297=879. Auburn’s Maria Martinez emerged as the individual medalist, carding a five-under-par 73-68-70=211 to finish five strokes ahead of Florida State’s Caroline Westrup for the title. Her three-round score of 211 established a new Lady Gamecock Classic record, breaking the existing record of 212, held jointly by Furman’s Kristel Morgue d’Algue and North Carolina’s Kelly McCall.
South Carolina finished eighth with a three-round score of 314-297-303=914.
Auburn’s path to the title was bolstered by a phenomenal showing in Saturday’s second round, as the Tigers’ 10-under-par score of 278 Saturday not only marked a tournament record and was the second-lowest score in Auburn history, but it catapulted the Tigers into the lead and allowed Auburn to keep the field at arm’s length without being challenged in Sunday’s final round. As for Martinez, she topped the individual leader board entering Sunday’s final round and never relinquished her lead. The highest-ranked player in the field, Martinez came into the tournament as the No. 3-rated player in the country, according to the most recent GolfWeek rankings and did not bogey any hole on Saturday or Sunday.
The host Gamecocks were led by Erica Battle, whose 79-72-74=225 placed her in a tie for 13th on the individual leader board. The senior from Irmo overcame a slow start to shoot even par for her last 16 holes, highlighted by birdies on No. 13, No. 16 and No. 18. Sophomore Whitney Simons also posted a top-20 finish for the Gamecocks with a 77-72-78=227 to finish tied for 20th on the individual leader board. Playing in her final Lady Gamecock Classic, senior Laura McCaslin carded an 81-78-73=232. Her final-round performance was her best of the weekend, as she kept her scorecard clean with 15 pars. She birdied her final hole of the day.
Junior Jenna Pearson and sophomore Camila Mori rounded out the South Carolina effort, as Pearson finished with a 78-75-81=234 and Mori came in with an 80-78-78=236. Competing as individuals with their scores not counting toward the team’s total, sophomore Blythe Worley finished in a tie for 36th on the individual leader board with a 79-76-77=232 and sophomore Laura Raffo finished in a tie for 47th with an 80-77-81=238.
The Gamecocks return to action when they travel to Athens, Ga., to take part in the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic from March 24-26.
Lady Gamecock Classic Team Leader Board (Final)
1. Auburn: 304-278-297=879 (+15)
2. Tennessee: 300-288-309=897 (+33)
3. Florida State: 302-295-301=898 (+34)
4. Virginia: 302-289-308=899 (+35)
5. Furman: 301-300-302=903 (+39)
6. North Carolina State: 305-293-308=906 (+42)
7. Wake Forest: 305-294-308=907 (+43)
8. South Carolina: 314-297-303=914 (+50)
9. Augusta State: 314-292-311=917 (+53)
10. East Tennessee State: 317-305-312=934 (+70)
11. Minnesota: 330-323-318=971 (+107)
* Playing as individuals with scores not counting toward the team total.