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Sept. 12, 2011

HANAHAN, S.C. — South Carolina senior Katie Burnett and junior Meredith Swanson posted career-low rounds on Monday to lead the Gamecocks in the second round of the Cougar Classic at Yeamans Hall Club. Burnett fired a 6-under 66, while Swanson carded a 3-under 69 to help South Carolina shoot a 283 (-5) to finish the day in 11th place with a two-round total of 590 (+14).

Burnett’s score tied former Gamecock Jenna Pearson’s round of 66 (2007) for the lowest score in program history. As a team, South Carolina’s score of 283 tied the second best round in school history, which was recorded in the 2010 NCAA East Regional.

“We played poorly (Sunday),” South Carolina coach Kalen Harris said. “Today they came back and there were a lot of birdies out there. We knew this golf course was pretty scoreable. We only made six birdies the first day and didn’t have a lot of putts fall. Katie Burnett had her putts fall today. Her and Meredith Swanson put together two phenomenal rounds. I am very proud of them.”

Burnett made a significant move in the individual standings as she carded the lowest score of the day to climb from a tie for 25th to a tie for 5th, just four strokes off the tournament lead. The Brunswick, Ga., native got off to a hot start with birdies on her first two holes. She had her first slip up of the round with a bogey on hole No. 6 but bounced back with birdies at Nos. eight and nine to make that turn at 33 (-3). After making four straight pars to start her back nine, Burnett carded consecutive birdies on the 14th and 15th holes. A bogey at the 16th threatened her career round, but she recovered to make birdies on the 17th and 18th to wrap up her day at 6-under.

“It’s good for her to get off to a great start to her senior year,” Harris said of Burnett “She’s hitting her irons particularly well and is taking advantage of the par fives. She’s a very good leader and a very good player. I know she likes this golf course and is very experience on it.”

Swanson bounced back nicely from her first-round 77 (+5) with a 69, which was three strokes better than her previous career low. Swanson finished the day in a tie for 28th after starting the round in a tie for 70th. She recorded seven pars and had birdies on holes three and nine to shoot 34 (-2) on the front side. After a bogey on the 10th, she gained the stroke back with a birdie at No. 12 but gave it right back with a bogey at the 13th. However, Swanson produced back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th to finish the day at 3-under.

“She came in and really has been working hard and her swing has come a long way,” Harris said. “She has really worked out some things in her golf swing and is really on top of her game. She’s mentally in a good place. (The round of 69) is a great confidence builder for her.”

The Gamecocks received two more solid rounds from junior Amanda Strang and sophomore Katie Rose Higgins. After Strang struggled in the first round with a 78 (+6), she posted a 1-over 73 on Monday and moved into a tie for 55th. Higgins shaved four strokes off her first round score with a 75 (+3) to help the Gamecocks move up the leaderboard.

“That’s the kind of golf we need to see from (Strang and Higgins),” Harris said. “They left a lot out there, but that’s the kind of steady golf we need to see from our three and four scores. If they make a few more putts, they are going to shoot those lower numbers. I was proud of them and the way they came back.”

Sophomore Samantha Swinehart turned in a round of 82 (+10) for South Carolina.

North Carolina shot a 6-under 282 to knock LSU from atop the leaderboard with a two-round total of 567 (-9). Florida is in second at 568 (-8), while LSU is in third with a team score of 571 (-5).

Tennessee’s Erica Popson held onto her first-round lead with a total of 135 (-9) after posting a 3-under 69 on Monday. LSU’s Austin Ernst is one stroke back at 136 (-8) as she shot a second-round 69.

The Gamecocks will wrap up play at the Cougar Classic with 18 holes on Tuesday. Live scoring is available at

T5. Katie Burnett 73-66=139 (-5)
T28. Meredith Swanson 77-69=146 (+2)
T55. Amanda Strang 78-73=151 (+7)
T74. Katie Rose Higgins 79-75=154 (+10)
T101. Samantha Swinehart 79-82=161 (+17)