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April 16, 2010

Coach Anderson
Benedicte Toumpsin

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – South Carolina senior Benedicte Toumpsin shot 68 (-3) in the first round of the SEC Women’s Golf Championship to hold the tournament’s first-round lead on Friday at NorthRiver Yacht Club. The Gamecocks are tied for seventh place after posting a 289 (+5), their best 18-hole team score of the year, to open the tournament.

Toumpsin got off to an inauspicious start as she was forced to re-tee on her first hole (No. 10) after a lost ball on her drive, leading to double-bogey. But she recovered in a hurry, running off three straight birdies on 12, 13 and 14, then rammed home a 45-foot birdie putt on the 17th to get to 2-under. The Belgium native would then par her next seven holes before a birdie at No. 7, then left another birdie putt at No. 9 on the lip to finish at 3-under.

Toumpsin was one of four players in the field to card five birdies on the day, which led the field. But she made her move on the par-3s and par-4s as she was 5-under on those holes.

Sophomore Katie Burnett is tied for 20th after a 72 (+1) to open her tournament. She started strong with a birdie at the 10th, then bogeyed 11 and 16 to make the turn at 1-over. Burnett would then post an even-par second nine that included a birdie-double bogey-birdie stretch on holes 4, 5 and 6.

Amanda Strang, a freshman from Sweden, was nearly flawless on her front nine, posting birdies at 10 and 18 to make the turn at 2-under. But a stretch of five bogeys in six holes dropped her to 3-over, which is where she would finish the day at 74 (+3). She is tied for 33rd place heading into Saturday’s second round.

Senior Taylor Barrett began with five pars and a birdie, then posted a double-bogey at the 16th to make the turn at 1-over. Her second nine was somewhat adventurous as she had three bogeys, a double-bogey, and two birdies to come back in with a 39 to finish at 75 (+4). Barrett is tied for 39th place through 18 holes. Fellow senior Corrine Carr was one shot back of Barrett with a 76 (+5) to tie for 44th place. Carr had one birdie on the short par-4 13th to go along with six scattered bogeys on the day.

South Carolina’s team score of 289 was its best 18-hole total of the year, surpassing a 290 in the second round of the Mercedes-Benz Women’s Championship in October. It also ties for the fifth-best team total in program history, tying a pair of SEC Championship scores from 2002 and 2007 and the second round of the 2007 NCAA East Regional.

The course played to a scoring average of 73.73. The second hole was the toughest on the course, playing 0.42 strokes over par. The par-4 13th, which measures just 248 yards and gives players an opportunity to drive the green, was the easiest at 0.55 strokes under par with an eagle and 34 birdies in the 60-player field.

Arkansas and Georgia are tied for the opening-round team lead after matching rounds of 280 (-4). Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and LSU are in a three-way tie for third place at even-par 284. Individually, Toumpsin holds a one shot lead over five players – Emilie Burger (Georgia), Brooke Goodwin (Vanderbilt), Milena Savich (Georgia), Kelli Shean (Arkansas) and defending SEC Champion Marta Silva Zamora (Georgia) – who all shot 69 (-2).

The Gamecocks will have the same tee time as today for Saturday’s second round, beginning at 9:20 a.m. on No. 10 and paired with Florida and Auburn. Live scoring is available through, and fans can receive periodic updates via Twitter by following @GamecockWGolf.

1. Benedicte Toumpsin – 68 (-3)
T20. Katie Burnett – 72 (+1)
T33. Amanda Strang – 74 (+3)
T39. Taylor Barrett – 75 (+4)
T44. Corrine Carr – 76 (+5)

T1. Arkansas – 280 (-4)
T1. Georgia – 280 (-4)
T3. Vanderbilt – 284 (E)
T3. LSU – 284 (E)
T3. Ole Miss – 284 (E)
6. Alabama – 287 (+3)
T7. SOUTH CAROLINA – 289 (+5)
T7. Auburn – 289 (+5)
T9. Florida – 298 (+14)
T9. Tennessee – 298 (+14)
11. Kentucky – 302 (+18)
12. Mississippi State – 309 (+25)