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April 18, 2009

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. – South Carolina junior Benedicte Toumpsin fired a 2-under-par 69 Saturday to lead the Gamecock women’s golf team at the SEC Championship at Cobblestone Park Golf Club. The Gamecocks dropped to a tie for seventh place – along with Ole Miss – after shooting 299 (+15) on Saturday; South Carolina stands at 31-over for the tournament. Arkansas leads the championship through two rounds at 14-over.

Toumpsin is third overall at 1-under after a second-round 69 (-2). Her round was highlighted by an eagle at the par-5 fifth to get her to 3-under at that point. A rough stretch on holes nine through 11 dropped her to 1-over, but three birdies on the back nine got her to 2-under for the day. Georgia’s Marta Silva, Arkansas’ Lucy Nunn and Toumpsin are the only three players under par through 36 holes, and Vanderbilt’s Marina Alex is fourth at even par after a round of 69 (-2) of her own. Tennessee’s Nicole Smith and Auburn’s Patricia Sanz were the other two players to fire 69s on the day.

Junior Corrine Carr, who had her best round as a Gamecock on Friday, shot a 6-over 77 Saturday. She was even on the front nine with two birdies and two bogeys, but struggled on the back side with six bogeys. Carr is tied for 25th at 8-over for the tournament. Freshman Cayci Ruppe improved by six strokes to a 76 (+5) Saturday after shooting 82 on Friday.

Arkansas fired a 3-over-par 287 Saturday – the second-best team round of the tournament thus far – to move into first place. On another picture-perfect day in South Carolina, the Razorbacks’ 287 was bested only by LSU’s 2-over 286. Arkansas was led by Lucy Nunn’s second straight round of 70 (-1) as she stands in second place overall. Nunn carded six birdies on the day and played her final 10 holes at 2-under.

“It’s been a total team effort,” Arkansas head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor said. “Our kids have given it their heart and soul the last two days. We just have to go out tomorrow and play one more solid round of golf. This is something the kids have been working for all year. We’ll go out and pick good targets and attack this golf course; hopefully we’ll get some putts to drop, and we’ll see what happens.”

Silva was mostly brilliant on the day, attacking the par-71 Cobblestone Park layout with seven birdies in her second round. After playing her first six holes at even par – two birdies and two bogeys – the native of Spain was 5-under over her next 11 holes. A bogey at the 18th hole was her only blemish on the back nine, and she finished with a 4-under 67, the round of the tournament so far.

The highlight of the day came at the 140-yard, par-3 11th when the Lady Vols’ Ginny Brown recorded a hole-in-one. The junior used an 8-iron to clear the water, the ball took one bounce and then dropped in the hole.

First-round leader Auburn dropped to second place after a 12-over-par 296, leaving the Tigers at 17-over for the tournament. LSU, with the round of the day, moved up to third place at 19-over. Tennessee is one shot back of the Bayou Bengals at 20-over.

Final-round action gets underway at 8 a.m. Sunday with teams slated to go off both No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Full results, tee times and live results can be accessed through

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS3.   Benedicte Toumpsin - 72-69=141 (-1)T25. Corrine Carr - 73-77=150 (+8)33.  Katie Burnett - 74-78=152 (+10)T49. Cayci Ruppe - 82-76=158 (+16)T49. Taylor Barrett - 80-78=158 (+16)
TEAM STANDINGS1. Arkansas 295-287=582 (+14)2. Auburn 289-286=585 (+17)3. LSU 301-286=587 (+19)4. Tennessee 295-293=588 (+20)5. Alabama 300-291=591 (+23)6. Georgia 300-292=592 (+24)T7. Mississippi 301-298=599 (+31)T7. S. Carolina 299-300=599 (+31)9. Florida 307-295=602 (+34)10. Vanderbilt 304-301=605 (+37)11. Kentucky 313-297=610 (+42)12. Miss. State 318-307=625 (+57)