Gamecocks Bounce Back in Final Round at Liz Murphey
April 3, 2011
By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director
ATHENS, Ga. - South Carolina shot a 3-under-par 285 in Sunday's final round of the Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic, improving by 28 shots from Saturday's round as the Gamecocks wrapped up the week in 18th place at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
The Gamecocks took full advantage of the five-player/four-best ball format, recording 15 birdies on the day to spark the dramatic one-day turnaround. Saturday's 313 (+25) tied for the highest score in the 23-team field; Sunday's 285 (-3) was among the day's best.
"Very proud of the way the team came back today," head coach Kalen Anderson said. "They persevered after a rough day yesterday, so I'm really happy about that. We made a 28-shot improvement today. Everybody did a great job, everybody played steady. We made several birdies today; the day was a lot more scoreable because the wind was down from what it was early in the week. Going into this next week and a half before SECs, we needed a positive note to end on and generate some excitement before we head to the SEC Championship."
Junior Katie Burnett led the charge Sunday with a 1-under-par 71 to mark a 10-shot turnaround from Saturday's play. Starting on No. 15 today, Burnett made a bogey at No. 16 and then went birdie-bogey-birdie-bogey on 18, 1, 2 and 3 to stay at 1-over. From there, she would have no more blemishes on the scorecard and finished with a flourish, carding back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 to get to 1-under for the day. She finished in a tie for 47th place to lead the Gamecocks for the week.
"Katie hung in there all day long," Anderson said. "She hit a lot of great putts that just burned the edges all week, and they finally started falling today. It would have been easy for her to get frustrated, but she stayed really patient all week. They finally started to drop the last five holes of the last round."
Freshman Samantha Swinehart also rebounded in a big way, recording a 1-over 73 to mark a 10-shot improvement of her own. She was 2-under through four holes after birdies at 17 and 18, then made a bogey and a birdie on the front nine to remain 2-under with five holes to play. However, a stretch of three straight bogeys on 10 through 12 dropped her to 1-over for the day, where she would finish.
Fellow freshman Suzie Lee was a shot better Sunday, capping off a wild round with a 4-over-par 76. Lee birdied two of her first four holes to head to the front nine at 2-under, then had two bogeys, a birdie and a double-bogey to move to 1-over through 13 holes. She would finish the round bogey-double-birdie-bogey to post a 4-over day. Katie Rose Higgins and Amanda Strang posted rounds of 6-over-par 78, with Strang marking a six-shot improvement from Saturday's play and Higgins posting a five-shot turnaround. Meredith Swanson, playing as an individual, finished off the week with an 81 (+9).
The nation's best teams lived up to their billing this week as the top three spots went to teams ranked in the national top five. Alabama took the team title with a 5-under-par round Sunday to finish at 860 (-4) for the week. Duke and Purdue tied for second place at 4-over-par 868. Individually, Marta Silva Zamora of Georgia captured medalist honors on her home course, shooting a final-round 67 to finish at 212 (-4), two shots ahead of Arkansas' Emily Tubert.
The Gamecocks will have the next two weeks to prepare for the SEC Championship, which is set for April 15-17 at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala.
LIZ MURPHEY COLLEGIATE CLASSIC - FINAL RESULTS
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS