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Sept. 14, 2008

HANAHAN, S.C. – Junior Bénédicte Toumpsin and freshman Katie Burnett shot matching 70s to lead South Carolina into third place after the first round of the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Golf Course Sunday. The Gamecocks shot 288 (+2) as a team to sit two shots behind first-round leaders No. 14 Virginia and No. 9 Georgia.

After opening with a birdie on her first hole, the par-4 10th, Toumpsin used an eagle on the par-5 18th to make the turn at two-under. She got to three-under with a birdie on the par-3 third hole, but lost the stroke with a bogey on No. 6. Her even-par 70 has her in fifth place, tied with, among others, her teammate Burnett, who opened her college career with a bang.

Burnett was steady in her first nine holes, picking up a pair of birdies and six pars before the turn. Sitting at one-under through 11 holes, she carded consecutive birdies to shave off two more strokes. Bogeys on the last two par-4s on the course only slightly derailed her solid round.

Senior Meredith Taylor is in 30th place after a career-low 74 (+2) on Sunday. She was steady throughout the round and used a birdie on the par-5 seventh hole to secure her spot in the top 30. Junior Taylor Barrett finished the round with a 76 (+4), highlighted by a pair of birdies. Making her Gamecock debut, junior Corrine Carr struggled to an 85 (+13) in the first round, which was derailed by three straight double-bogeys in her first four holes.

Overall, Virginia and Georgia sit atop the leaderboard after scoring 288 (E) in their first trips around the course. The Cavalier’s Whitney Neuhauser and Bulldog Mallory Hetzel share the individual lead as each carded a 68 (-4) on Sunday.

The Gamecocks will tee off in round two on Monday beginning at 9:10 a.m., playing in threesomes with Furman and North Carolina State.