March 29, 2013
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The South Carolina women's golf team got off to a strong start at the Bryan National Collegiate on Friday afternoon, shooting an 8-over 296 on the Champions Course at Bryan Park Golf and Enrichment Center.
The Gamecocks' round of 296 is their third lowest of the season and it leaves them 15 strokes back of tournament leader Virginia (281) with two rounds of play remaining.
Carolina has four golfers in position for a top-20 finish after each posted a solid round on Friday. Freshman Sarah Schmelzel led the way as she matched her career-low with a 1-under 71 and is tied for fifth place. Sophomore Justine Dreher and junior Samantha Swinehart, who is playing as an individual, each carded an even-par 72 and are in a tie for ninth. Junior Suzie Lee is in a tie for 15th after turning in a 1-over 73.
"Overall there were a lot of positives to build on from today's round," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "Sarah, Justine, Suzie and Sam played solid golf today. We are looking forward to the next two days."
Schmelzel, who has one top-20 finish this season, birdied two of her first four holes to get to 2-under par. A bogey on the par-3 seventh left her at 1-under as she made the turn. She bogeyed the 10th hole but bounced back with a birdie on No. 11 to get back to 1-under. After three straight pars, she birdied the 15th but gave the stroke right back with a bogey at 16 to move back to 1-under, where she finished the day.
Dreher was at 2-over through 14 holes but she closed strong, making birdies on two of her last four holes to get back to even par heading into the clubhouse. She recorded four birdies, four bogeys and 10 pars on the afternoon.
Swinehart played steady golf throughout the day. Her only blemish on the scorecard was a bogey on the par-5 sixth, as she made the turn at 1-over. After recording eight straight pars on the back nine, Swinehart sank a birdie putt on the 18th to close out her day at even par.
A native of East Northport, N.Y., Lee had a rough start as she double bogeyed her second hole. However, she recovered and played the rest of her round at 1-under, recording three birdies and two bogeys.
Virginia holds a five-shot lead over Vanderbilt heading into the second round. The Commodores turned in a 2-under 286. North Carolina and Arkansas are tied for third after each shooting a 294 (+6). Virginia's Elizabeth Brightwell sits atop the individual leaderboard after shooting a 4-under 68.
The Gamecocks will begin teeing off in the second round on Saturday at 9:05 a.m. and will be paired with Arkansas and Wake Forest. Live scoring will be available here.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T5. Sarah Schmelzel (5) 71 (-1) T9. Justine Dreher (3) 72 (E) T15. Suzie Lee (2) 73 (+1) T78. Chelsey Couch (4) 80 (+8) T87. Mary Fran Hillow (1) 84 (+12) *T9. Samantha Swinehart 72 (E) *Playing as an individual
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