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Sept. 8, 2009

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – South Carolina’s women’s golf team was able to salvage a victory at the Hooters/NGCA Collegiate Match Play Championship on Tuesday, defeating Tennessee-Chattanooga 3-2 to take home seventh place. Tuesday’s match wrapped up a long three days for the Gamecocks and 15 other teams that played up to 90 holes at LPGA International Legends Course.

With the team match tied at two apiece, the outcome came down to the final hole of Katie Burnett’s match with Chattanooga’s Kayla Stewart. Burnett, who had trailed nearly the whole way, squared the match on their 16th hole with a par on the tricky par-4 sixth. Both would par No. 7 (their 17th) and the match came to the final hole all square. Burnett would record a par on the par-5 eighth while Stewart made bogey, and Burnett won the hole and the match, 1-up. It wrapped a 1-1-1 weekend for Burnett as she begins her sophomore campaign.

South Carolina’s first two wins came relatively easily as freshman Amanda Strang took down Christine Wolf, 3 and 2. Strang took the lead on the first hole and never relinquished the advantage, holding a comfortable lead most of the way. Senior Benedicte Toumpsin wrapped up a 1-0-1 weekend with a win in her match, 3 and 1, over Maria Juliana Loza. Like Strang, Toumspin led from wire-to-wire, taking as much as a four-hole lead at various points in the match.

Senior Taylor Barrett led most of the way in her match and came to the 17th hole all square with Maria Salinas. But Barrett would make bogey on the final two holes against Salinas’ pars to give Salinas a 2-up victory. Fellow senior Corrine Carr would stage a valiant comeback after trailing nearly the whole match, nearly overcoming Emma de Groot after she was dormie with three to play. But the two would halve the final hole, giving de Groot the win, 1-up.

For the weekend, South Carolina finished 1-2 in the competition, defeating Chattanooga but falling to Virginia and Alabama. LSU won the championship match with a 3-1-1 victory over SEC foe Auburn. The Southeastern Conference fared very well in the event with six of the eight teams in the championship bracket being members of the SEC.

The Gamecock women will take three weeks off before their next event, the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship in Franklin, Tenn. The event, hosted by Vanderbilt, runs Sept. 25-27 at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

South Carolina 3, Chattanooga 2

Emma de Groot (UTC) def. Corrine Carr (SC), 1 up
Katie Burnett (SC) def. Kayla Stewart (UTC), 1 up
Amanda Strang (SC) def. Christine Wolf (UTC), 3 and 2
Maria Salinas (UTC) def. Taylor Barrett (SC), 2 up
Benedicte Toumpsin (SC) def. Maria Juliana Loza (UTC), 3 and 1