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April 15, 2006

Nashville, Tenn. – The South Carolina women’s golf team improved 17 strokes during Saturday’s second round of the Southeastern Conference Championship, and the Gamecocks head into Sunday’s final round tied for eighth with a 310-293=603 (+27), 21 strokes behind tournament leader Auburn. Carolina’s 293 tied for the seventh-lowest round at the SEC Championship in school history and is the Gamecocks’ best round of the Spring.

Sophomore Whitney Simons and junior Jenna Pearson are leading Carolina at the SEC Championship, with Simons tied for 15th on the individual leader board with a 75-73=148 (+4) and Pearson only one stroke behind with a 75-74=149 (+5). Auburn’s Maria Martinez leads the field at three under par. Pearson’s total puts her in a tie for 17th. Simons was excellent on the back nine, posting seven pars and two birdies on her final nine holes. Pearson, meanwhile, continued to play very solid golf and picked up 14 pars and a birdie Saturday. Through the first 36 holes of the tournament, Pearson has achieved par 27 times to earn a spot in the tournament’s top 20.

Senior Erica Battle shaved six strokes off her first round total and is tied for 30th with a 79-73=152 (+8). Battle provided one of Carolina’s individual highlights of the year when she eagled the course’s par-five seventh hole. Battle’s eagle was only the second Carolina eagle of the year, as fellow senior Laura McCaslin fired an eagle during the Fall portion of the season. She had a chance to finish her day at even par, but a bogey on her final hole nudged her to one-over and matched her with Simons and sophomore Blythe Worley for the lowest round of any Gamecock player on Saturday.

Worley’s second-round 73 becomes even more impressive when one considers that she trimmed 11 strokes off her score from the previous round. Similar to Battle, Worley had an up-and-down performance Saturday and matched Battle by playing a team-high four holes under par. Worley’s effort moved her 10 spots up the leader board and she enters Sunday’s final round tied for 46th.

Sophomore Laura Raffo was also in action for Carolina Saturday and she is 53rd overall with an 81-81=162 (+18).

Final round action resumes tomorrow.

Team Leader Board
1. Auburn: 300-282=582 (+6)
2. Georgia: 301-285=586 (+10)
3. Tennessee: 301-287=588 (+12)
4. Vanderbilt: 303-287=590 (+14)
5. Florida: 308-291=599 (+23)
6. Arkansas: 304-297=601 (+25)
7. LSU: 302-300=602 (+26)
T8. Alabama: 307-296=603 (+27)
T8. South Carolina: 310-293=603 (+27)
10. Mississippi State: 321-301=622 (+46)
11. Kentucky: 315-310=625 (+49)
12. Ole Miss: 318-315=633 (+57)

Gamecocks On The Individual Leader Board
T15. Whitney Simons: 75-73=148 (+4)
T17. Jenna Pearson: 75-74=149 (+5)
T30. Erica Battle: 79-73=152 (+8)
T46. Blythe Worley: 84-73=157 (+13)
53. Laura Raffo: 81-81=162 (+18)