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May 22, 2012

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FRANKLIN, Tenn. — South Carolina posted a 14-over 302 on Tuesday in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

The Gamecocks finished the day in a tie for 18th place, but with three rounds remaining, they are not out of the mix as they are 10 strokes back of the top five and 16 strokes behind tournament leader Alabama (286).

Senior Katie Burnett and juniors Amanda Strang and Meredith Swanson all turned in solid rounds to lead Carolina. Burnett carded a 2-over 74 to tie for 34th. Strang shot a 3-over 75 and is in a tie for 47th, while Swanson produced a 4-over 76 to wrap up the round tied for 70th.

“It was a little bit up and down. We didn’t have our greatest day but we are right in there,” South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. “Katie, Amanda and Meredith really fought hard today. Overall it wasn’t a real easy day for our squad. For a down day, we did all right and kind of salvaged the round. Hopefully, we can get out early tomorrow and put up a good number.”

Burnett got off to an inauspicious start with a double bogey on the first hole. However, she settled down to play even par the rest of the way and finished the round off with a birdie on the par-5 18th to build some momentum heading into the second round.

Strang played her best golf of the day on the front side with an even-par 36, but after making par on her first two holes on the back nine, she struggled at times down the stretch. She recorded four bogeys to go along with a birdie and two pars to head into the clubhouse at 3-over.

Swanson was headed for a high round after making the turn at 5-over 41 but she bounce back nicely on the back nine with a 1-under 35, including a birdie on the par-5 14th, which was one of only four by the Gamecocks on the final nine holes.

“I’m very proud of her. That was huge for us,” Harris said of Swanson’s round. “Today was just a day that we hung in there. It wasn’t a day where we had anybody go low. Some of the teams had some low numbers, so we know it’s out there.

Freshman Justine Dreher turned in a 5-over 77 and is tied for 85th, while sophomore Suzie Lee shot a 79 and is in a tie for 104th.

Second-ranked Alabama holds a two-shot lead over Virginia (288). Duke is in third with a score of 289 (+1), followed by North Carolina (290), UCLA (292) and Arizona State (292). Virginia’s Portland Rosen leads all individuals after firing a 6-under 66.

The Gamecocks are slated to tee off in the second round on Wednesday beginning at 7:33 a.m. CT on hole No. 10. Carolina will be paired with top-ranked UCLA and Southern California for the second straight day. Live scoring is available at

T34. Katie Burnett 74 (+2)
T47. Amanda Strang 75 (+3)
T70. Meredith Swanson 76 (+4)
T85. Justine Dreher 77 (+5)
T104. Suzie Lee 79 (+7)

1. Alabama 286 (-2)
2. Virginia 288 (E)
3. Duke 289 (+1)
4. North Carolina 290 (+2)
T5. UCLA 292 (+4)
T5. Arizona State 292 (+4)
T7. Purdue 293 (+5)
T7. LSU 293 (+5)
9. Oklahoma 294 (+6)
10. Michigan State 296 (+8)
T11. Southern Cal 297 (+9)
T11. Colorado 297 (+9)
T11. Texas 297 (+9)
T14. North Carolina State 299 (+11)
T14. Baylor 299 (+11)
16. Tennessee 300 (+12)
17. Texas A&M 301 (+13)
T18. South Carolina 302 (+14)
T18. Florida 302 (+14)
T20. Arkansas 303 (+15)
T20. Ohio State 303 (+15)
T22. Pepperdine 306 (+18)
T22. Vanderbilt 306 (+18)
24. Stanford 309 (+21)