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April 16, 2006

Nashville, Tenn. – With Sunday’s final round of the 2006 Southeastern Conference Championship played at the par-72 Ironhorse Course at the Vanderbilt Legends Club complete, the South Carolina women’s golf team finished eighth with a 310-293-300=903 (+39), 28 strokes behind tournament winner Auburn.

Jenna Pearson starred for the Gamecocks on Sunday, shooting an even-par 72, which enabled her to finish in a tie for seventh place on the final individual leader board with a 75-74-72=221 (+5), 10 strokes behind individual medalist Maria Martinez from Auburn. Pearson’s performance marked the lowest 54-hole score of any Gamecock player this Spring and was the third-lowest 54-hole total of her career. In finishing seventh, Pearson became the 10th Carolina player ever to finish in the top 10 at the SEC Championship and the first since Kristy McPherson finished third in 2003. Pearson finished ahead of five of the nation’s top 28 players who competed in the field.

Sophomore Whitney Simons was also very productive for South Carolina throughout the SEC Championship, finishing in a tie for 16th with a 75-73-75=223 (+7). Though still an underclassman, Simons has demonstrated a knack for success when the stakes are high, as she finished 12th at last year’s SEC Championship and knocked in a hole-in-one at last year’s NCAA East Regional.

Senior Erica Battle finished in a tie for 35th with a 79-73-78=230 (+14). She overcame a rocky start to shoot par on eight of her last nine holes, with the one exception a double-bogey on the course’s par-five fourth hole. Sophomore Blythe Worley finished in a tie for 41st with an 84-73-75=232 (+16), with sophomore Laura Raffo tying for 53rd with an 81-81-78=240 (+24).

The NCAA Regional Championship is set for May 11-13. When South Carolina learns which Regional field in will compete in, an announcement will be made. The NCAA East Regional will be played at Bryan Park in Browns Summit, N.C., with the Central Regional set for the Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas and the West Regional to be played at the Washington National Golf Club in Auburn, Wash.

Final Team Leader Board
1. Auburn: 300-282-293=875 (+11)
2. Tennessee: 301-287-288=876 (+12)
3. Georgia: 301-285-299=885 (+21)
4. Vanderbilt: 303-287-297=887 (+23)
5. Arkansas: 304-297-296=897 (+33)
6. Florida: 308-291-299=898 (+34)
7. LSU: 302-300-298=900 (+36)
8. South Carolina: 310-293-300=903 (+39)
9. Alabama: 307-296-305=908 (+44)
10. Mississippi State: 321-301-302=924 (+60)
11. Kentucky: 315-310-311=936 (+72)
12. Ole Miss: 318-315-307=940 (+76)

Gamecocks On The Individual Leader Board
T7. Jenna Pearson: 75-74-72=221 (+5)
T16. Whitney Simons: 75-73-75=223 (+7)
T35. Erica Battle: 79-73-78=230 (+14)
T41. Blythe Worley: 84-73-75=232 (+16)
T53. Laura Raffo: 81-81-78=240 (+24)