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May 18, 2010

Coach Anderson

WILMINGTON, N.C. – South Carolina fought a tough golf course and a tough field in Tuesday’s first round of the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship, posting a 12-over-par 300 to tie for 19th place. Sophomore Katie Burnett once again led the way with an even-par round of 72 at the 6,368-yard Dye Course at the Country Club of Landfall.

The Gamecocks made the turn at a respectable 6-over after scattering birdies and bogeys throughout the front nine. But the first few holes of the back nine spelled trouble as the team was a combined 13-over on holes 10 through 13. The going would get a little easier toward the finish as holes 14 through 18 surrendered nine birdies and against just three bogeys to the Gamecocks, allowing for a strong finish to the opening day.

Burnett continued her strong play on Tuesday with her eighth score of 72 or better in her last nine competitive rounds. The sophomore from Brunswick, Ga., was the steadiest of the Gamecock five with 14 pars on the day to go with two bogeys and two birdies. She dropped to plus-1 after bogey at No. 3, but came back with a birdie at the par-5 sixth to pull even. She would drop a shot at No. 8, but then play bogey-free over her final 10 holes. She burned the lips on numerous birdie opportunities, but finally came up with one at the short par-5 18th after her eagle try from 20 feet just slid by the cup. Burnett is tied for 20th place through one round.

Freshman Amanda Strang delivered the second-best round of the day for the Gamecocks, a 3-over 75 to tie for 64th place through 18 holes. It was an up-and-down day for the native of Sweden, to say the least. She dropped to 3-over through three holes with bogey at No. 1 and a double-bogey at the third. A birdie at the fourth mitigated the damage a bit, but she gave the shot right back with bogey at No. 5. From there, she would par her next five and head to the 11th tee at 3-over. A string of three straight bogeys on the tough stretch of 11, 12 and 13 dropped her to 6-over, but she would birdie three of the final five holes to shoot an even-par back nine and close on a high note.

Corrine Carr, the senior from Pinehurst, N.C., also recovered from a tough start late to post a 76 (+4) in her second NCAA Championship appearance. Carr made the turn at 3-over after bogeys at holes 3, 6 and 8, then added three more strokes to her score with bogeys at 10, 12 and 13. Like her teammates, though, she would cut into her total with a pair of birdies at 14 and 15, then make pars down the stretch to end the day.

Seniors Benedicte Toumpsin and Taylor Barrett each fired rounds of 77 (+5) in the opening round of their final collegiate tournament. Toumpsin started strong with a birdie at No. 2, but back-to-back bogeys at the sixth and seventh dropped her to 1-over as she made the turn. Again, the first part of the back nine was a killer for Toumpsin’s score as she had three bogeys and a triple-bogey through that stretch, but she would card birdies at 15 and 16 to stop the bleeding before making par on her final two holes. Barrett had a tough start with a double-bogey on her first hole, but carded back-to-back birdies at the fourth and fifth to get back to even par. A bogey at the eighth left her 1-over at the turn, and then she would record five bogeys in a row before a par-birdie-par finish, recording her best score at an NCAA Championship.

Southern California, paired with the Gamecocks for the first two rounds, lead the way after day one with a 6-under-par 282. Purdue is second at 284 (-4), followed by a three-way tie for third place with Arizona State, UCLA and Duke at even-par 288. Only 12 shots separate third and 19th place with the Gamecocks just six shots out of the top 10.

Individually, three players – Jennifer Johnson (Arizona State), Maude-Aimee LeBlanc (Purdue) and Jennifer Song (Southern California) – hold a share of the lead after matching rounds of 5-under-par 67. Three others are a shot back at 4-under.

The Gamecocks will once again be paired with Southern California and Arizona for Wednesday’s second round, which gets underway at 8 a.m. on the No. 10 tee. Fans can follow the action via Twitter by following @GamecockWGolf, and live scoring is available through

Pete Dye Course/Country Club of Landfall • Wilmington, N.C.
Par 72 • 6,368 Yards

T20. Katie Burnett – 72 (E)
T64. Amanda Strang – 75 (+3)
T72. Corrine Carr – 76 (+4)
T87. Benedicte Toumpsin – 77 (+5)
T87. Taylor Barrett – 77 (+5)

1. Southern California – 282 (-6)
2. Purdue – 284 (-4)
T3. Arizona State – 288 (E)
T3. UCLA – 288 (E)
T3. Duke – 288 (E)
T6. Alabama – 289 (+1)
T6. Florida State – 289 (+1)
8. TCU – 292 (+4)
9. Auburn – 293 (+5)
10. Virginia – 294 (+6)
11. Oklahoma State – 295 (+7)
T12. Vanderbilt – 296 (+8)
T12. Arizona – 296 (+8)
T14. Pepperdine – 297 (+9)
T14. Texas A&M – 297 (+9)
T14. Tennessee – 297 (+9)
17. San Jose State – 298 (+10)
18. Texas – 299 (+11)
T19. South Carolina – 300 (+12)
T19. Stanford – 300 (+12)
21. Oregon – 302 (+14)
22. New Mexico – 303 (+15)
23. Kent State – 307 (+19)
24. Tulane – 311 (+23)