April 18, 2010
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Senior Corrine Carr shot the best round of her collegiate career with a bogey-free 67 (-4) on Sunday to lead South Carolina in the final round of the SEC Women's Golf Championship at NorthRiver Yacht Club. The Gamecocks shot 288 (+4) on the day to finish in seventh place at 867 (+15) overall, one shot back of LSU.
Carr, a native of Pinehurst, N.C., had the tournament field's low round of the day; it was one of only seven rounds in the 60s in Sunday's final round. It was also the best 18-hole score of her career, surpassing a 69 in the first round of the 2008 NCAA East Regional, which came while she was a sophomore at Furman. Her round was flawless with four birdies and no bogeys on a course that played difficult all week long. She made the turn at 2-under with birdies at 12 and 18, then kept up the strong play with birdies at Nos. 2 and 3. She would then close with six straight pars to complete her career-best round.
With her strong play, she moved up 19 spots in the final standings from a tie for 40th to a tie for 21st place at 218 (+5), her best finish of the spring season. Her 54-hole score also came just one shot shy of tying her career-best 217, which came at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate in October.
Sophomore Katie Burnett was the high finisher for South Carolina this week, turning in rounds of 72-70-72=214 (+1) to finish alone in 15th place. In Sunday's final round, she started birdie-bogey-bogey to stand 1-over through three holes, then ran off five straight pars before a double-bogey at the 18th left her 3-over at the turn. She got two shots back quickly with birdies at Nos. 1 and 2, but then gave those strokes right back with back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 3 and 4. However, she would bear down and make birdies at the fifth and eighth holes to get back to 1-over for the day. It was Burnett's seventh top-20 finish in nine events this season and her score of 214 was her season-best by eight shots.
Freshman Amanda Strang completed a successful first SEC Championship with a tie for 28th place after shooting 72 (+1) on Sunday, her best round of the tournament, to finish at 220 (+7) for the week. The native of Sweden jumped out to a 2-under start with birdies at 11 and 12, then rolled off five straight pars before a bogey at the 18th, which was playing tougher than it had all week. She got it back with birdie at No. 2 to get back to 2-under, but three bogeys over her last seven holes dropped her back above par to finish. As with Burnett, it was Strang's best 54-hole total of the season, five shots better than a 225 two weeks ago at the Bryan National Collegiate.
Senior Benedicte Toumpsin earned her third top-20 finish of the season at 217 (+4) despite a 6-over-par 77 in the final round. She made the turn at 1-under after birdies at 10 and 13 and a bogey at the 16th, but struggled down the stretch with two bogeys and two double-bogeys in a four-hole stretch on her second nine. It was the 17th career top-20 finish for Toumpsin. Taylor Barrett shot 78 (+7) on the final day to finish at 227 (+14) for the week, tied for 44th place.
The Gamecocks' team score of 288 was its second time in three rounds to shoot their best team total of the year and ties for the fourth-lowest score in team history, equaling a second-round effort in the 2006 Dick McGuire Intercollegiate.
Alabama, playing as the tournament host, won its first SEC Championship with a three-day total of 848 (-4), four shots ahead of Vanderbilt at 852 (E). Arkansas and Georgia, which began the day tied for the lead, finished third (+7) and fourth (+8), respectively. Vanderbilt's Marina Alex defeated Tennessee's Erica Popson in a two-hole playoff for tournament medalist honors as both finished at 208 (-5). Defending SEC Champion Marta Silva Zamora of Georgia was third at 209 (-4).
The Gamecocks will play a 36-hole tri-match with East Carolina and Duke next Saturday at Ironwood Golf Club in Greenville, N.C., getting an early look at the site of next month's NCAA East Regional. For the latest on South Carolina athletics, stay with GamecocksOnline.com.
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