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Oct. 26, 2008

AUBURN, Ala. – Junior Taylor Barrett put together her best round of the season thus far and helped the South Carolina women’s golf team to an eighth-place finish in a tough field at The Derby Invitational at the Auburn University Club. The tournament brings a close to South Carolina’s fall season.

“We had a lot of good things happen out there,” head coach Kalen Anderson said. “Taylor played really well today, Katie Burnett had a great round Saturday, and Meredith Taylor finished with three straight birdies. It wasn’t too bad at all. Cayci Ruppe got her first taste of college competition. There were a lot of definite positive notes.

Anderson said that the team would have to improve on its short game throughout the winter in preparation for the stretch run in the spring.

“It’s been kind of the same thing all fall, we’ve got to focus on our game from 100 yards in,” she said. “That was our clear difference-maker. We’ll take a few weeks off, and we’ll get back out there to practice as much as we can. We’re just as good as anybody striking the ball, we’ve just got to work on that short game.”

The Gamecocks finished with a 920 (+56) and a three-way tie for eighth place along with Kentucky and Tulane. South Carolina shot a final-round 306 (+18) to drop the team one spot from its seventh-place standing after Saturday. The course got the best of most players in the tournament, playing to an average of 77.68 for the field.

Barrett shot 73 (+1) Sunday, her best round of 2008, to finish at 13-over for the weekend and a tie for 24th place, also a season-best. Starting on the 10th hole, Barrett had bogeys on two of her first four holes and made the turn at two-over. But she went bogey-free over her final 14 holes, including a birdie at the fifth, to get back to one-over and a very strong finish.

Fellow junior Benedicte Toumpsin had her best round of the weekend Sunday with a 76 (+4) that included a birdie on her fifth hole of the day, the par-5 12th. But the par 3s proved to be Toumpsin’s downfall as she bogeyed three of the four on the course to finish at four-over for the day and 15-over for the tournament, tied for 35th place.

Senior Meredith Taylor and freshman Katie Burnett had rough rounds Sunday but managed to salvage a tie for 40th place in the 90-player field. Taylor shot 79 (+7) and had four birdies on the day, but a double- and a triple-bogey were too much to overcome. Burnett, who shot a 73 in Saturday’s second round, had identical nines with a birdie, two bogeys and a triple-bogey on each side as she equaled her first-round score of 80 (+8).

Corrine Carr had three birdies in her final round, but a pair of doubles and five bogeys left her with a 78 (+6) and a tie for 53rd at 19-over for the tournament. Freshman Cayci Ruppe, playing as an individual in her first tournament for the Gamecocks, improved by two strokes in Sunday’s round, finishing with an 80 (+8).

Arizona State went low again Sunday, shooting a three-under 285 to run away with the team title at 869 (+5). Virginia finished second, some 18 strokes behind the Sun Devils at 887 (+23). Alabama was third with an 892 (+28) and the host Auburn Tigers finished fourth with an 896 (+32).

The Sun Devils’ Anna Nordqvist was one of two players in the field to finish under par all three days and was the tournament medalist with a 207 (-9), finishing four strokes ahead of ASU teammate Azahara Munoz and Virginia’s Whitney Neuhauser.

With the fall season now concluded, the Gamecocks will hit the practice range for the next few weeks before returning to action in mid-February at the Central District Invitational in Tampa, Fla.


T24. Taylor Barrett 76-79-73=228 (+12)
35. Benedicte Toumpsin 77-78-76=231 (+15)
T40. Meredith Taylor 77-77-79=233 (+17)
T40. Katie Burnett 80-73-80=233 (+17)
T53. Corrine Carr 81-76-78=235 (+19)
82. Cayci Ruppe * 84-82-80=246 (+30)

*Playing as an individual


1. Arizona State +5
2. Virginia +23
3. Alabama +28
4. Auburn +32
5. Ole Miss +39
6. Georgia +45
7. LSU +47
T8. South Carolina +56
T8. Kentucky +56
T8. Tulane +56
11. Chattanooga +61
12. UCF +62
13. Furman +65
T14. Mississippi State +67
T14. Kansas +67
16. Florida State +92
17. Coastal Carolina +107