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April 20, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The South Carolina women’s golf team shot an opening-round 315 (+27) on Friday in the 2012 SEC Championship at the Blessings Golf Course.

The Gamecocks are in a tie for eighth place heading into the second round. Carolina is 18 strokes off the lead and nine back of second place. The course proved to be a challenge for the entire field with cold and windy conditions throughout the day, as only four golfers posted rounds under par.

“We had a combination of a very difficult golf course with cold and windy conditions,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “It was a challenge for the entire field, which is a reflection of the higher than usual scores. We didn’t get off to an ideal start. However, due to the difficulty of this golf course, this championship will be a test in patience and mental toughness. Our team fought hard today, and we have the depth to move up the leaderboard over the next two days.”

Junior Amanda Strang and freshman Justine Dreher each carded a 5-over 77 to lead the way for Carolina, finishing the day in a tie for 16th place. Strang fell back to 6-over after a triple bogey on the seventh, which was her 14th hole of the day. However, she rebounded with back-to-back birdies to get back to 4-over. A bogey on the par-3 10th moved her back to 5-over, where she finished the day. Dreher wrapped up her round with two birdies, seven bogeys and nine pars.

Senior Katie Burnett is in a tie for 33rd after turning an 80 (+8). Junior Meredith Swanson and sophomore Samantha Swinehart each carded a 9-over 81 and are in a tie for 41st.

Second-ranked Alabama is in the lead after posting a 9-over 297. Auburn is in second with a score of 306 (+18), followed by Florida (307), Georgia (308) and Arkansas (309).

Auburn’s Patricia Sanz and Georgia’s Marta Silva Zamora each shot a 3-under 69 and are tied for the individual lead.

Second-round play is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. CT on Saturday. The Gamecocks will be paired with Mississippi State and LSU. Live scoring is available at

T16. Amanda Strang 77 (+5)
T16. Justine Dreher 77 (+5)
T33. Katie Burnett 80 (+8)
T41. Meredith Swanson 81 (+9)
T41. Samantha Swinehart 81 (+9)

1. Alabama 297 (+9)
2. Auburn 306 +18
3. Florida 307 +19
4. Georgia 308 +20
T5. Arkansas 309 +21
T5. Mississippi 309 +21
7. LSU 310 +22
T8. South Carolina 315 +27
T8. Mississippi State 315 +27
10. Kentucky 317 +29
11. Vanderbilt 318 +30
12. Tennessee 320 +32