Gamecocks Third, Burnett Second After First Round of NCAA East Regional
May 6, 2010
GREENVILLE, N.C. - It was a banner day for South Carolina women's golf on Thursday as sophomore Katie Burnett posted a 5-under-par 67 and the Gamecocks turned in the second-best single-day score in team history with a 283 (-5) in the first round of the NCAA East Regional. South Carolina is tied with Tennessee for third place, and Burnett is in a three-way tie for second through 18 holes at the par 72, 6,321-yard Ironwood Country Club.
The Gamecocks' round of 283 was just one stroke higher than the best single-round score in Carolina annals, which was a 282 in the second round of the 2002 SEC Championship (which South Carolina won). It marks the fourth time in the last six competitive rounds that the Gamecocks have posted an 18-hole team score that ranks among the top-10 in school history; all three rounds of last month's SEC Championship fit that category. It is also one of just four sub-par team rounds in school history, joining the aforementioned SEC Championship, the second round of the 2003 NCAA East Regional and the final round of the 2009 LSU Classic.
No one was more impressive on this day than Burnett. The sophomore from Brunswick, Ga., posted the best round of her collegiate career, carding just one bogey along with six birdies en route to a 67 (-5), two shots better than a pair of 69s earlier this season that were her previous best. Starting on the back nine, Burnett birdied holes 10, 11, 15 and 16 to stand 4-under, then left another birdie try at 18 on the lip. Burnett, named to the All-SEC team last week, would stay hot after the turn, draining a 40-footer for birdie at No. 1 to get to 5-under, then rolled off six straight pars before a bogey-birdie finish. She is in a three-way tie for second place heading into Friday's second round.
Freshman Amanda Strang was also a major contributor to the team effort with a 2-under-par 70 to open her first NCAA Regional. The native of Jonstorp, Sweden, also got off to a birdie-birdie start before a bogey at the 13th dropped her to 1-under. She would stay there through 10 holes, then got back to 2-under with another birdie at No. 2. A birdie at the sixth pushed her to 3-under, but a bad lie in a greenside bunker at No. 7 led to her only bogey of the second nine as she finished 2-under for the day. It was Strang's low score of her brief Carolina career and her first in red numbers, two shots better than her previous mark of 72 that came on four different occasions. She is currently in a 10-way tie for 10th place.
Continuing her strong play as her senior season winds down, Corrine Carr shot an even-par round of 72 that was remarkable in its consistency. Through 15 holes, she had 14 pars and one birdie, which came when she chipped in from the left side of the green on No. 17. She would bogey the seventh and eighth to drop to 1-over, but came back strong with a huge birdie at the ninth to finish off her eighth round of the season at par or better, which leads the team. She is tied for 30th place through 18 holes.
Benedicte Toumpsin, the senior from Sombreffe, Belgium, was strong throughout the early part of the round, carding a pair of birdies and one bogey on her first nine to make the turn at 1-under. A bogey at the third followed by birdie at No. 4 kept her in red numbers, but a double-bogey at the fifth and another bogey at No. 8 left her with a 74 (+2) for the day. Fellow senior Taylor Barrett carded 14 pars to go along with four bogeys and shot 76 (+4) in Thursday's opening round.
The Southeastern Conference ruled the day as Auburn led the charge with a score of 280 (-8), one shot ahead of Pepperdine at 281 (-7). The Gamecocks are tied for third place with Tennessee at 283 (-5), followed by Florida at 284 (-4). East Tennessee State's Nina Muehl went really low with an eight-birdie, zero-bogey effort for a 64 (-8) to hold the first-round lead by three shots over Burnett and Pepperdine's Danielle Kang and Jessica Wallace.
South Carolina will be paired once again with Chattanooga and Tulane for Friday's second round. The three teams will begin on the No. 1 tee at 12:20 p.m. Live scoring is available through Golfstat.com, and fans can receive periodic updates on the Gamecocks via Twitter by following @GamecockWGolf.
NCAA WOMEN'S GOLF EAST REGIONAL - FIRST ROUND