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March 19, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s women’s golf team will look to build on last week’s strong performance at the LSU Classic when they head back west to the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational at the University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, Texas. Tournament play begins Friday morning and runs through Sunday with 54 holes (18 each day) on the schedule.

The Gamecocks are led by junior Benedicte Toumpsin, who turned in one of the best performances of her career last week at the LSU Classic, finishing in a three-way tie for first place before falling on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff. Toumpsin shot a career-best 209 (-7), which gave her a tie for the second-best 54-hole score in South Carolina history.

Toumpsin will be joined this weekend by the same lineup that made the trip to LSU last weekend. Senior Meredith Taylor, junior Taylor Barrett and freshmen Katie Burnett and Cayci Ruppe will look to continue the strong play that gave South Carolina a 10th-place finish, including a final-round 287 (-1), the best closing 18 holes in school history. The solid performance last week gave the Gamecocks a boost in the national rankings, moving up to No. 42 in the Golfstat ratings and No. 45 in GolfWeek.

South Carolina will be joined by 17 teams in the field, including numerous competitors in the nation’s top 50. Top-ranked Arizona State headlines the competition, along with No. 9 Duke, No. 13 Purdue, No. 20 Arizona, No. 21 Arkansas, No. 28 Notre Dame, No. 31 Texas, No. 35 New Mexico, No. 36, Texas A&M, No. 46 Chattanooga, No. 47 Furman, and No. 48 UCF.

Tee times begin at 8:15 a.m. Central time Friday morning, and individual tee times will be posted later in the day on