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March 2, 2012

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s golf team carded an opening-round 303 (+19) on Friday to finish the day in 10th place at the inaugural Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club.

The Gamecocks, who are the host school for the event, are 15 shots behind tournament leader Alabama (288) and just six shots back of a group of teams tied for third place. Windy conditions throughout the day made low scores hard to come by, as only two individuals finished their round in red numbers.

“It was a bit of a rollercoaster day for the Gamecocks,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “Obviously, it’s not the kind of play that we are capable of, but the good news is that we are only six shots out of third place. The golf course played difficult for most of the teams, and we are all bunched together in scores.”

Senior Katie Burnett posted the lowest round for the Gamecocks with a 1-over 72 to wrap up the day in a tie for sixth. Burnett opened her round with a bogey on the first but she recorded birdies on holes three, five and six to move to 2-under. She then hit a rough stretch of holes with a bogey on the ninth, a triple on the 10th and a bogey on the 14th to fall back to 3-over. However, Burnett closed strong with two birdies and two pars to end the round at 1-over. Junior Meredith Swanson had a stellar round as well and is tied for 16th after an opening-round 74 (+3). Swanson made the turn at even par but she recorded a triple bogey on the 14th to drop to 3-over, where she finished the day.

Meredith Swanson and Katie Burnett played particularly well today,” Harris said. “There is a lot of golf left to play, and our team is familiar with the course.”

Junior Amanda Strang, who is playing as an individual, posted a 4-over 75 to tie for 27th heading into the second round. Freshman Justine Dreher shot a 6-over 77 and is tied for 45th, while sophomores Samantha Swinehart, Suzie Lee and Katie Rose Higgins (individual) are in a tie for 65th after each shooting 80 (+9) on Friday.

Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow fired a 4-under 67 to take the individual lead by three strokes over UCF’s Monifa Sealy (70).

Saturday’s second-round schedule has been changed due to the threat of severe weather in the Hilton Head Island area. The teams will tee off at 9 a.m. with a shotgun start instead of beginning on holes one and 10. South Carolina is paired with Texas and Tennessee. Live results are available at

T6. Katie Burnett 72 (+1)
T16. Meredith Swanson 74 (+3)
T45. Justine Dreher 77 (+6)
T65. Samantha Swinehart 80 (+9)
T65. Suzie Lee 80 (+9)
*T27. Amanda Strang 75 (+4)
*T65. Katie Rose Higgins 80 (+9)
*Playing as an individual

1. Alabama 288 (+4)
2. North Carolina 292 (+8)
T3. Georgia 297 (+13)
T3. UCF 297 (+13)
T3. Virginia 297 (+13)
6. Vanderbilt 299 (+15)
T7. TCU 301 (+17)
T7. Notre Dame 301 (+17)
9. Wake Forest 302 (+18)
10. South Carolina 303 (+19)
T11. Texas 305 (+21)
T11. Tennessee 305 (+21)
T11. Arkansas 305 (+21)
14. Coastal Carolina 307 (+23)
15. USC – Beaufort 327 (+43)