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May 13, 2006

Browns Summit, N.C. – The South Carolina women’s golf team saw its season come to an end at the NCAA East Regional Championship played on the Champions Course at Bryan Park, as the Gamecocks finished 13th with a 296-297-304=897 mark that put them 33 strokes over par and 33 strokes behind tournament winner Tennessee. To advance to the NCAA Championship, the Gamecocks needed to finish in the top eight at Regionals. No Carolina individual qualified for the NCAA Championships.

Sophomore Blythe Worley was Carolina’s top player at Regionals, carding a 75-74-73=222 to set a new 54-hole career best. Her three-round score of 222 tied her for sixth on South Carolina’s all-time list in NCAA Regional play. Worley started her final round with a bogey on the first hole, but settled down to achieve par on 13 of the final 17 holes and counter off a pair of bogeys with birdies on the par-four ninth and the par-four 18th holes.

Fellow sophomore Laura Raffo also a posted a new personal best 54-hole score by firing a 73-75-78=226 at NCAA Regionals to finish second among Carolina players. Raffo found herself at one-over-par after 10 holes in Sunday’s final round before five bogeys on the final eight holes bumped her to six over par for the day.

South Carolina’s three top players throughout the year were unable to step up their game at NCAA Regionals, as senior Erica Battle and junior Jenna Pearson were both 11 shots over par and sophomore Whitney Simons finished with one of her highest scores of the year at 16 over par. Both Battle and Pearson actually shot below their season stroke average, but during a weekend when scores were low for all players, their efforts were not enough to lift the Gamecocks as a team.

Battle’s career, which was marked by consistent success in both the classroom and the community as well as solid play on the course, came to an end Sunday. The winner of USC’s President’s Award, Battle is a very strong candidate for the National Golf Coaches Association’s Dinah Shore Trophy, which recognizes the top player in the nation who combines good play on the course along with extensive community service and excellent performance in the classroom. The trophy will be presented at the end of May. She and fellow senior Laura McCaslin are the only two players not slated to return next year.

NCAA East Regional Team Leader Board
1. Tennessee: 292-286-286=864 (E)
2. LSU: 288-288-294=870 (+6)
3. California: 288-295-291=874 (+10)
T4. Florida State: 297-289-292=878 (+14)
T4. Arizona State: 307-284-287=878 (+14)
6. Auburn: 293-301-285=879 (+15)
7. Wake Forest: 296-293-291=883 (+19)
T8. Alabama: 295-293-299=887 (+23)*
T8. Virginia: 303-293-291=887 (+23)
10. North Carolina: 296-296-297=889 (+25)
T11. Augusta State: 308-293-290=891 (+27)
T11. Vanderbilt: 296-300-295=891 (+27)
13. South Carolina: 296-297-304=897 (+33)
14. Maryland: 305-294-299=898 (+34)
15. College of Charleston: 309-292-298=899 (+35)
16. NC State: 303-301-302=906 (+42)
17. Furman: 298-308-304=910 (+46)
18. Campbell: 308-302-301=911 (+47)
19. East Carolina: 313-295-308=916 (+52)
20. Yale: 308-296-315=919 (+55)
21. Mississippi State: 313-304-308=925 (+61)

* Alabama advances on tiebreaker.

Gamecocks On The Individual Leader Board
34. Blythe Worley: 75-74-73=222 (+6)
T54. Laura Raffo: 73-75-78=226 (+10)
T61. Erica Battle: 72-74-81=227 (+11)
T61. Jenna Pearson: 76-74-77=227 (+11)
T86. Whitney Simons: 76-80-76=232 (+16)