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Sept. 11, 2011

HANAHAN, S.C. — South Carolina senior Katie Burnett posted a 73 (+1) to lead the Gamecocks in the first round of the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Club on Sunday. As a team, South Carolina opened the 2011-12 season with a score of 307 (+19) and is in a tie for 18th place.

Burnett, who finished in a tie for fourth at the Cougar Classic a year ago, began the day on hole No. 10 and got off to a slow start as she bogeyed hole Nos. 12 and 13. The Brunswick, Ga., native bounced back with three straight birdies on holes 15, 16 and 17 to make the turn at 35 (-1). Burnett moved to 2-under on the day with a birdie at the third but she slipped up down the stretch with three consecutive bogeys at the sixth, seventh and eighth holes to wrap up her day at 1-over in a tie for 25th.

Junior Meredith Swanson carded a round of 77 (+5) and is tied for 71st. Swanson failed to record a birdie and had three bogeys and a double bogey on a day in which only 19 golfers were under par.

Junior Amanda Strang turned in a round of 78 (+6) and is in a tie for 84th, while sophomores Katie Rose Higgins and Samantha Swinehart each shot 79 (+7).

LSU posted an 8-under 280 to take the first-round lead, followed by Florida (-4) and North Carolina (-3). Tennessee’s Ericka Popson is atop the leaderboard after firing a 6-under 66, while Duke’s Laetitia Beck and LSU’s Austin Ernst and Tessa Teachman are in second at 5-under.

The Gamecocks will tee off at noon on hole No. 1 on Monday in the second round and will be paired again with Tennessee and Wake Forest. Live scoring is available at

T25. Katie Burnett 73 (+1)
T71. Meredith Swanson 77 (+5)
T84. Amanda Strang 78 (+6)
T92. Katie Rose Higgins 79 (+7)
T92. Samantha Swinehart 79 (+7)