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April 12, 2006

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The Basics
The No. 24 South Carolina women’s golf team is after its second Southeastern Conference title in the last five years when it heads to Nashville to compete at the 2006 SEC Championship played at the par-72, 7,200-yard Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club from April 14-16.

How To Get Results
Results will be available at the end of each day on the official web site of South Carolina athletics,, with live scoring kept throughout the tournament on

SEC Championship Field
Alabama, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 5 Auburn, No. 13 Florida, No. 4 Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, No. 24 South Carolina, No. 11 Tennessee, No. 16 Vanderbilt

Top Players Competing At The SEC Championship
Rank* Player, School
No. 4 Maria Martinez, Auburn
No. 11 Taylor Leon, Georgia
No. 13 Jenny Suh, Alabama
No. 14 Whitney Wade, Georgia
No. 17 Jacqui Concolino, Vanderbilt
No. 21 Amanda McCurdy, Arkansas
No. 24 Stacy Lewis, Arkansas
No. 27 Chris Brady, Vanderbilt
No. 28 Nicole Hage, Auburn
No. 31 Marci Turner, Tennessee
No. 32 Mallory Hetzel, Georgia

*team and player rankings according to

Gamecocks Competing At The SEC Championship
Whitney Simons (Sophomore; 75.92 stroke average)
Erica Battle (Senior; 76.17 stroke average)
Jenna Pearson (Junior; 76.54 stroke average)
Blythe Worley (Sophomore; 77.33 stroke average)
Laura Raffo (Sophomore; 78.17 stroke average)

Last Time Out – Bryan National Collegiate
South Carolina finished seventh at the Bryan National Collegiate with a 309-295-301=905 (+41). The Gamecocks finished ahead of four teams ranked in the top 20 nationally, including No. 12 California, No. 14 Vanderbilt, No. 17 Virginia and No. 20 Oklahoma State. Carolina was led by junior Jenna Pearson, who tied for 21st with a 79-71-74=224 (+8). Pearson’s final-round 74 led the team, but put her 11 strokes behind individual medalist Taylor Leon from Georgia. Pearson got better as the day went on, as the Wheaton, Ill., native posted eight pars and three birdies on her final 11 holes, including birdies on each of her final two holes. At eight-over par, she finished the tournament with a better score than six of the top 50 players in the nation who were also in the Bryan National Collegiate field. Sophomore Whitney Simons wasn’t far behind Pearson, finishing in a tie for 30th with a 75-76-76=227 (+11). Simons’ effort was bolstered by one eight-hole stretch of the day in which she posted seven pars and birdie. Sophomore Blythe Worley turned in the second-best tournament score of her career at the Bryan National, finishing in a tie for 38th with a 78-75-76=229 (+13). Senior Erica Battle and sophomore Laura Raffo were also in action for the Gamecocks, with the duo tying for 44th on the final individual leader board. Battle finished with an 81-75-75=231 (+15), with Raffo coming in with a 77-74-80=231 (+15).

Carolina At The SEC Championship – A Brief History
South Carolina won the 2002 SEC Championship and has finished in the top four of the conference in three of the last five years, tying for third in 2001 and finishing fourth in 2003. Kristy McPherson earned individual medalist honors in 2001, then repeated the feat in 2002. In addition to McPherson’s back-to-back titles, both McPherson and Adrienne Gautreaux posted top-10 finishes in 2003, with McPherson coming in third and Gautreaux tying for eighth. The Gamecocks have had some near-misses at the SEC Championship, as the team finished second at the event in 1995 and tied for third in 1996 and 2001. Carolina also posted third-place finishes in 1992 and 1993. Carolina has also fared well on the individual leader board at the SEC Championship, with McPherson’s efforts leading the way, but Siew Ai Lim (tied for second in 1996 and fifth in 1995), Clarissa Childs (tied for third in 1995) and Vikki Valentine (fifth in 1992) also turned in top-five finishes at the event during their respective careers. Here’s a closer look at last year’s performance at the SEC Championship:

2005 SEC Championship (April 15-17, 2005)
Tunica National Golf Course (Tunica, Miss.)
313-301-300=914 (7th place out of 12 teams)

Whitney Simons 76-73-78=227 T12th
Erica Battle 80-78-70=228 T15th
Caroline Rominger 79-76-73=228 T15th
Jenna Pearson 78-74-82=234 T34th
Tiffany Catafygiotu 80-83-79=242 T51st

* competed as an individual (score did not count toward team total)

Carolina Has SEC Championship Veterans
A trio of current Gamecocks have prior experience at the SEC Championship, as Erica Battle, Jenna Pearson, and Whitney Simons have all played at the tournament. A look at their results:

Erica Battle (2005) 80-78-70=228 T15th
Erica Battle (2004) 79-74-71=224 T20th
Jenna Pearson (2005) 78-74-82=234 T34th
Jenna Pearson (2004) 76-75-76=227 T31st
Whitney Simons (2005) 76-73-78=227 T12th

South Carolina Year-by-Year at the SEC Championship
2005 7th
2004 11th
2003 4th
2002 1st
2001 T3rd
2000 9th
1999 10th
1998 8th
1997 4th
1996 T3rd
1995 2nd
1994 5th
1993 3rd
1992 3rd

Gamecocks Recognized As 2004-05 NGCA Team of the Year
With a cumulative team grade point average of 3.752 for the 2004-05 academic year, the South Carolina women’s golf team was announced as the inaugural recipient of the National Golf Coaches Association All-Scholar Team G.P.A. Award. Under head coach Kristi Coggins, academic excellence has become a staple of the Gamecock women’s golf program. The women’s golf team finished the 2004 fall semester with a 3.671 overall GPA, which marked the highest team GPA since the Carolina athletic department began charting the figure on team-by-team basis in 1996, then turned in a combined 3.832 GPA in the spring semester to shatter the record it had just set. For the second consecutive year, no school in the country placed more of its women’s golfers on the National Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholar-Athlete team than South Carolina, as six Gamecocks earned spots on the team in 2005. Erica Battle, Tiffany Catafygiotu, Jenna Pearson, Caroline Rominger, Whitney Simons and Blythe Worley were all recognized for their performance in the classroom.