April 19, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The South Carolina women's golf team fought through soggy conditions and a steady wind to shoot an 18-over 306 on Friday as it wrapped up the first round of the SEC Championship in a tie for third place at Greystone Golf Club.
The Gamecocks are just three strokes back of tournament leader LSU. The Tigers posted a 303 (+15) to take the lead. The tournament is wide-open heading into the weekend, as nine teams are within 10 strokes of the lead.
"The golf course was challenging," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "The scores today just in general were high. We just kind of hung around today. The group played pretty well overall. I think it could have been a lot better for us, but I'm happy to be in contention. This golf course is really about being patient and just hanging around. The greens are tricky and the golf course plays long with all the rain that we had this morning. We will get up tomorrow and go do it again and stay tough."
Sophomore Justine Dreher delivered a stellar 2-over 74 to lead the way. She concluded the afternoon in a tie for third, just one stroke back of Kentucky's Sarah Harris (73) and Mississippi's Stani Schiavone (73) for the tournament lead. Dreher began the day on the 10th hole and played a very steady front nine, making a birdie on the par-3 14th and a bogey on the par-5 18th to make the turn at even par. She recorded back-to-back bogeys to begin the back nine to drop to 2-over on the day. She sank a downhill birdie put on the par-3 seventh to get back to 1-over but bogeyed the eighth to move to 2-over, where she finished the round.
Freshman Sarah Schmelzel had an impressive SEC Championship debut as she carded a 4-over 76 to move into a tie for 12th. Schmelzel tallied one birdie and five bogeys for her round.
Senior Meredith Swanson and junior Suzie Lee each carded a solid round of 78 (+6) to move into a tie for 27th. Swanson wrapped up the afternoon with two birdies, five bogeys and a triple bogey on her scorecard. Lee tallied one birdie, five bogeys and a double bogey.
Rounding out the lineup, freshman Mary Fran Hillow shot an 86 (+14) and finished the day in a tie for 68th.
Second-ranked Alabama trails LSU by a stroke after shooting a 304 (+15) on Friday. Georgia, Kentucky and Mississippi State are tied with the Gamecocks with a score of 306 (+18). Vanderbilt is in seventh after shooting a 309 (+21), followed by Tennessee (312), Missouri (312) and Arkansas (313).
The Gamecocks will begin teeing off at 10:50 a.m. CDT on Saturday in the second round and will be paired with Mississippi State and Kentucky. Live scoring will be available through Golfstat.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T3. Justine Dreher (5) 74 (+2) T12. Sarah Schmelzel (1) 76 (+4) T27. Suzie Lee (2) 78 (+6) T27. Meredith Swanson (3) 78 (+6) T68. Mary Fran Hillow (4) 86 (+14)
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