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April 22, 2012

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The South Carolina women’s golf team posted a score of 313 (+25) on Sunday to conclude play at the 2012 SEC Championship at the Blessings Golf Club.

The Gamecocks moved up one spot to claim sixth place with a three-round total of 936 (+72). Carolina’s round of 313 was tied for the lowest score of the day.

Senior Katie Burnett and freshman Justine Dreher played the most consistent golf of the weekend in extremely challenging conditions to lead the Gamecocks. With winds gusting up to 30 mph on Sunday, Burnett carded a 3-over 75, and Dreher turned in a 6-over 78, as both golfers finished the tournament in a tie for 12th with a score of 230 (+14). The finish is the lowest of Burnett’s career at the SEC Championship, while it is Dreher’s career best.

“The conditions were extremely difficult today,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “With the course and wind, I think it was probably the most challenging tournament round in which I have ever coached or played. I am so proud of the way our team battled today. You had to be mentally sharp on every shot. Katie and Justine both had a strong tournament. I am also impressed with the way Amanda (Strang) rebounded to finish 1-under in her last eight holes. We stayed tough to finish in the top half of the field.”

Burnett began the day on hole No. 12 and got off to a quick start with birdies on her first two holes. She then bogeyed three of her next five holes before making five straight pars. Burnett closed out her round with two birdies, two bogeys, a par and a double bogey to finish the day at 3-over.

Dreher recorded one birdie, three bogeys, two double bogeys and 12 pars for her round. The lone birdie came on the par-4 11th, which was her final hole of the day.

Junior Amanda Strang earned her best career finish in three tries at the SEC Championship as she turned in a 5-over 77 and finished in a tie for 26th with a score of 235 (+19). Strang closed out the round in strong fashion, playing 1-under on the back nine.

Junior Meredith Swanson shot an 83 (+11) to wrap up the event in a tie for 46th, while sophomore Samantha Swinehart posted an 86 (+14) to finish in a tie for 42nd.

Fifth-ranked Auburn held off a late charge from host Arkansas to win its second straight SEC title and eighth overall with a score of 916 (+52). The Razorbacks came up one stroke short to finish second with a score of 917 (+53), followed by Alabama (922), Florida (925) and Georgia (933).

Auburn’s Patricia Sanz shot a final-round 77 (+5) to claim medalist honors with a three-day score of 219 (+3).

The Gamecocks will now wait for the NCAA Regional pairings to be announced on April 30. Carolina will be selected to compete at one of three sites, which include State College, Pa., Columbus, Ohio and Erie, Colo.

T12. Katie Burnett 80-75-75=230 (+14)
T12. Justine Dreher 77-75-78=230 (+14)
T26. Amanda Strang 77-81-77=235 (+19)
T42. Samantha Swinehart 81-77-86=244 (+28)
T46. Meredith Swanson 81-82-83=246 (+30)

1. Auburn 306-297-313=916 +52
2. Arkansas 309-295-313=917 +53
3. Alabama 297-312-313=922 +58
4. Florida 307-305-313=925 +61
5. Georgia 308-306-319=933 +69
6. South Carolina 315-308-313=936 +72
7. LSU 310-309-318=937 +73
8. Vanderbilt 318-307-315=940 +76
9. Kentucky 317-307-322=946 +82
10. Mississippi 309-315-326=950 +86
11. Tennessee 320-309-322=951 +87
12. Mississippi State 315-326-333=974 +110