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March 31, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. — The South Carolina women’s golf team posted a second-round 292 (+4) on Saturday afternoon to remain in contention at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

The Gamecocks are in third place heading into the final round with a total of 577 (+1), trailing tournament leader Alabama (565) by 12 strokes. Host Georgia is in second with a score of 573 (-3).

“I can never complain when we are in the hunt at the top of the leaderboard,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “I’m happy with the way they hung in there. I like what I’m seeing. The majority of the team is playing real solid golf and smart golf and making some birdies. It’s a good time to be doing it and it’s fun to see. We need to go out there tomorrow and take it one shot at a time and hopefully put up some low numbers.”

Carolina turned to a pair of upperclassmen to lead the way, as junior Meredith Swanson and senior Katie Burnett shot rounds under par for a second consecutive day. Swanson fired a 3-under ¬¬69, which tied for the lowest round of the day, while Burnett carded her second straight round of 2-under 70. Both Swanson and Burnett are tied for fourth place just two strokes off the lead with a two-round total of 140 (-4). Alabama’s Jennifer Kirby shot an even-par 72 to hold onto the lead with a score of 138 (-6).

After making the turn at 1-under, Swanson was able to get to 4-under on the back nine with birdies on the 12th, 16th and 17th holes. However, she bogeyed the 18th to drop back to 3-under heading into the clubhouse.

Burnett, who has been the Gamecocks’ top finisher in every event this season, was at even par through nine holes and saved her best golf for the back nine. The Brunswick, Ga., native recorded birdies on the 11th and 16th holes and made seven pars on the way to her 31st career round of par or better.

Sophomore Katie Rose Higgins shot 3-over 75 for the second straight round to finish the day in a tie for 41st with a score of 150 (+6).

Katie Burnett played well, and Meredith played very well,” Harris said. “Katie Rose did an excellent job of fighting out there and played real steady.”

Junior Amanda Strang had an up and down day after a solid opening round on Friday as she turned in a 6-over 78. She was at 1-over through 13 holes but she triple bogeyed the 14th and doubled the 17th to move to 6-over. Strang dropped into a tie for 26th with a two-day score of 147 (+3).

“Amanda played very well. She just had a couple of real bad breaks,” Harris said.

Sophomore Samantha Swinehart shot an 84 (+12) and is in 87th place, while freshman Justine Dreher, who is playing as an individual, carded a 76 (+4) to move into a tie for 60th.

The final round is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Sunday with a shotgun start. Live scoring will be available at

T4. Katie Burnett 70-70=140 (-4)
T4. Meredith Swanson 71-69=140 (-4)
T26. Amanda Strang 69-78=147 (+3)
T41. Katie Rose Higgins 75-75=150 (+6)
87. Samantha Swinehart 77-84=161 (+17)
*T60. Justine Dreher 78-76=154 (+10)
*Playing as an individual

1. Alabama 278-287=565 (-11)
2. Georgia 284-289=573 (-3)
3. South Carolina 285-292=577 (+1)
4. Purdue 293-289=582 (+6)
T5. Virginia 287-297=584 (+8)
T5. Florida 286-298=584 (+8)
7. Michigan State 296-291=587 (+11)
8. Auburn 297-292=589 (+13)
9. Notre Dame 301-292=593 (+17)
10. Arkansas 305-291=596 (+20)
T11. Kent State 293-306=599 (+23)
T11. Wake Forest 302-297=599 (+23)
T13. Florida State 296-304=600 (+24)
T13. Oklahoma 296-304=600 (+16)
15. Denver 303-305=608 (+32)
16. Missouri 305-310=615 (+39)
17. Augusta State 311-308=619 (+43)
18. Georgia (B) 308-316=624 (+48)