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Oct. 10, 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – South Carolina’s women’s golf team played well for the most part in Friday’s first round at the Mercedes-Benz Championships, but a few disastrous holes spread amongst the Gamecock players left Carolina in 11th place. The Gamecocks shot 297 (+9) on the day, but are only eight shots out of second place.

Junior Benedicte Toumpsin had the most consistent round, finishing the day where she began at even par with a 72. Toumpsin made the turn after bogeys at the 15th and 18th, then another at No. 2 left her at 3-over. But she rebounded in a big way with three straight birdies, including the difficult double-dogleg, par-5 fifth, to finish the day at level par and in a tie for 13th place.

Freshman Katie Burnett cruised through her first 16 holes at even par with a pair of birdies at holes 13 and 14, but a triple-bogey at the extremely narrow eighth hole dropped her to 3-over, where she would finish with a 75.

Burnett would be joined by two other teammates at 3-over as senior Meredith Taylor shot one of her best collegiate rounds and Taylor Barrett had a pair of birdies en route to a 75. But like Burnett, Taylor and Barrett each had one round-destroying hole. For Taylor, it came with a double-bogey at the 12th, a 358-yard, par 4 with water surrounding the green. Barrett’s one bad hole was at No. 15, another water hole which played as the toughest on the course. All three Gamecocks finished in a tie for 35th heading into Saturday’s second round.

Junior Corrine Carr got off to a rough start, but finished on a high note with a birdie on her final hole, the par-4 ninth. She heads into the second round tied for 87th at 9-over after shooting 81.

Host Tennessee is the surprising first-day leader after shooting 283 (-5) despite having two of its best players unavailable for the weekend. North Carolina is second, six shots back at 1-over with only eight strokes separating second and 11th place.

Three players share the individual lead at 4-under as Sydney Crane (North Carolina), Lauren Doughtie (NC State) and Marika Lendl (UCF) all shot 68 on the day.

South Carolina goes off in the third wave of tee times Saturday with the first group beginning at 10:39 a.m. on Hole No. 10. The Gamecocks will be paired with Kent State and Texas A&M for the second round. Check throughout the day for continuous updates on the tournament.


T13. Benedicte Toumpsin 72 (E) 11:15 a.m.
T35. Taylor Barrett 75 (+3) 10:48 a.m.
T35. Meredith Taylor 75 (+3) 10:57 a.m.
T35. Katie Burnett 75 (+3) 11:06 a.m.
T87. Corrine Carr 81 (+9) 10:39 a.m.