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April 1, 2012

ATHENS, Ga. — The South Carolina women’s golf team shot a final-round 298 (+10) on Sunday to finish in fifth place at the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic at the University of Georgia Golf Course.

The Gamecocks wrapped up the tournament with a three-day total of 875 (+11), giving Carolina its best finish at the Liz Murphey Classic since a fourth-place showing at the event in 2002.

“Overall it was a real solid week,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “I saw a lot of really good things from all of our players. I’m excited that everybody’s games are progressing. I was really proud of the way they performed this week. There are a lot of positive things to feed off of. We didn’t have a great day but we just hung in there.”

Senior Katie Burnett continued her steady play from the first two rounds by posting an even-par 72 to lead the Gamecocks on Sunday. Burnett claimed fifth place with a score of 212 (-4), which is the eighth-lowest 54-hole score in school history. She recorded four birdies, four bogeys and 10 pars for the round and she recorded 11 birdies and never scored worse than a bogey on the weekend.

Junior Meredith Swanson carded a 2-over 74 on Sunday to earn the first top-10 finish of her career as she tied for 10th place with a score of 214 (-2). Swanson struggled to a 4-over 39 on the front nine but she settled down and closed out the round in strong fashion, making two birdies and seven pars on the back nine to finish the round at 2-over.

Junior Amanda Strang and sophomore Samantha Swinehart each shot a 4-over 76. Strang finished in a tie for 33rd with a score of 223 (+7), while Swinehart tied for 85th with a total of 237 (+21). Sophomore Katie Rose Higgins turned in an 81 (+9) and finished in a tie for 66th with a score of 231 (+15).

Katie Burnett and Meredith Swanson both had phenomenal weeks,” Harris said. “Amanda Strang stepped up, and Katie Rose had two really solid rounds.”

Freshman Justine Dreher, who played as an individual, posted an 80 (+8) to finish in a tie for 75th.

Second-ranked Alabama shot a 1-over 289 to hold onto the lead and win the tournament with a score of 854 (-10). Host Georgia placed second with a score of 866 (+1), followed by Florida (867) and Virginia (873). Alabama’s Jennifer Kirby led wire-to-wire to claim medalist honors with a 209 (-7).

The Gamecocks will close out the regular season next weekend in the Bryan National Collegiate in Greensboro, N.C. The 54-hole even runs Friday through Sunday at the Bryan Park Golf and Conference Center.

5. Katie Burnett 70-70-72=212 (-4)
T10. Meredith Swanson 71-69-74=214 (-2)
T33. Amanda Strang 69-78-76=223 (+7)
T66. Katie Rose Higgins 75-75-81=231 (+15)
T85. Samantha Swinehart 77-84-76=237 (+21)
*T75. Justine Dreher 78-76-80=234 (+18)
*Played as an individual

1. Alabama 278-287-289=854 (-10)
2. Georgia 284-289-293=866 (+2)
3. Florida 286-298-283=867 (+3)
4. Virginia 287-297-289=873 (+9)
5. South Carolina 285-292-298=875 (+11)
6. Purdue 293-289-296=878 (+14)
7. Auburn 297-292-290=879 (+15)
8. Michigan State 296-291-294=881 (+17)
9. Arkansas 305-291-290=886 (+22)
10. Notre Dame 301-292-299=892 (+28)
11. Oklahoma 296-304-295=895 (+31)
12. Wake Forest 302-297-297=896 (+32)
13. Florida State 296-304-297=897 (+33)
14. Kent State 293-306-302=901 (+37)
15. Denver 303-305-299=907 (+43)
16. Augusta State 311-308-303=922 (+58)
17. Missouri 305-310-310=925 (+61)
18. Georgia (B) 308-316-311=935 (+71)