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March 4, 2012

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s golf team shot a final-round 301 (+17) on Sunday to finish in eighth place in the inaugural Darius Rucker Intercollegiate at Long Cove Club.

The Gamecocks posted a two-round score of 604 (+36) for the event, which was shortened to 36 holes after severe storms postponed the second round on Saturday.

“The conditions were very difficult out there. The wind was just howling,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “We made a move up the leaderboard, which is a positive thing. They hung in there. Justine Dreher played well, and Katie Burnett came in with a solid round of even. Those two rounds were extremely solid for us in those conditions. I was very happy with that. The others hung in there and helped us move a few spots up the board. Overall, it was not to bad based on the conditions.”

The golfers struggled to put up low numbers during all three days of competition, as only six rounds under par were posted on the weekend. Burnett had a stellar day to lead the Gamecocks as she recorded 14 pars, two birdies and two bogeys to card an even-par 71. Burnett wrapped up the tournament in sixth place with a two-round score of 143 (+1), which is her eighth career top-10 finish. Her weekend total also lowers her career scoring average to 74.37, which ranks first all-time at Carolina.

Dreher earned the first top-20 finish of her career as she carded a 2-over 73 to tie for 20th with a two-round score of 150 (+8). Her round consisted of three birdies, three bogeys, a double bogey and 11 pars.

Sophomore Suzie Lee tied for 60th with a two-round total of 158 (+16) after carding a final-round 78 (+7), while junior Meredith Swanson and sophomore Samantha Swinehart tied for 62nd with a score of 159 (+17). Swanson shot 85 (+14) on Sunday, and Swinehart turned in a 79 (+8).

Junior Amanda Strang and sophomore Katie Rose Higgins played as individuals for the Gamecocks and finished tied for 49th and tied for 68th, respectively. Strang posted an 81(+10) on Sunday, while Higgins turned in an 80 (+9).

Second-ranked Alabama claimed the team title by 11 strokes with a score of 571 (+3). North Carolina took second with a 582, followed by Vanderbilt (593), UCF (596) and Virginia (598).

Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow won medalist honors after posting two rounds under par. Meadow shot a 1-under 70 on Sunday and finished the tournament with a total of 137 (-5).

The Gamecocks return to action on March 30 at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic in Athens, Ga.

6. Katie Burnett 72-71=143
T20. Justine Dreher 77-73=150
T60. Suzie Lee 80-78=158
T62. Samantha Swinehart 80-79=159
T62. Meredith Swanson 74-85=159
*T49. Amanda Strang 75-81=156
*T68. Katie Rose Higgins 80-80=160
*Played as an individual

1. Alabama 288-283=571 (+3)
2. North Carolina 292-290=582 (+14)
3. Vanderbilt 299-294=593 (+25)
4. UCF 297-299=596 (+28)
5. Virginia 297-301=598 (+30)
6. Georgia 297-303=600 (+32)
7. TCU 301-301=602 (+34)
8. South Carolina 303-301=604 (+36)
T9. Tennessee 305-303=608 (+40)
T9. Wake Forest 302-306=608 (+40)
T11. Texas 305-312=617 (+49)
T11. Arkansas 305-312=617 (+49)
13. Notre Dame 301-319=620 (+52)
14. Coastal Carolina 307-314=621 (+53)
15. USC – Beaufort 327-333=660 (+92)