May 10, 2013
STANFORD, Calif. -- The South Carolina women's golf team will head into the final round of the NCAA West Regional in the mix for its third regional title in four years after posting a second-round 285 (+1) to move into fourth place on Friday at the Stanford Golf Course.
The Gamecocks, whose 285 is the second lowest NCAA Regional score in school history, have a total of 581 (+13) and are just four strokes back of tournament leader Purdue (577). More importantly, Carolina is in position for a top-eight finish, which secures a berth to the NCAA Championship. Fifteen strokes separate the Gamecocks and ninth place.
"I'm super proud of these girls," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "They did a phenomenal job. We just came out really strong and played very steady golf all day. We are in a good position heading into Saturday. We will just tee it up and do it again. We need to stay mentally tough, and that's been our game plan all week."
Senior Meredith Swanson is making her final run as a Gamecock a memorable one as she led the charge on Friday, shooting a season-low 70 (-1). She moved into a tie for 17th with a total of 145 (+3). After making a bogey on her first hole of the day, Swanson settled down and made just one mistake the rest of the way, a bogey on the par-5 seventh. She made the turn at 2-over and then caught fire on the back nine, making birdies on 12, 13 and 16 and pars on the rest of the holes to finish the round at 1-under.
Junior Suzie Lee was steady for the second-straight day as she turned in an even-par 72 to move into a tie for 12th with a total of 144 (+2). She cruised through the front nine with all pars and made three straight pars on the back side before recording birdie on No. 13 to get to 1-under. After three more pars, she bogeyed the 17th to drop back to even, where she concluded her round.
The freshman duo of Sarah Schmelzel and Mary Fran Hillow came up big for the Gamecocks on Friday as they each shot a 1-over 72. Schmelzel, who is in a tie for 34th with a total of 148 (+6), played near flawless golf. She began the day with 11 straight pars and then sank a birdie putt on the par-5 12th to get to 1-under. Her only blemishes of the round came down the stretch as she made bogeys on the 15th and 17th holes to wrap up her round at 1-over.
Hillow climbed 42 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 72nd with a total of 154 (+12). She was solid on the front nine, recording a pair of birdies and a bogey to make the turn at 1-under. She carded three bogeys and a birdie on the back nine to head into the clubhouse at 1-over.
Rounding out the lineup, sophomore Justine Dreher shot a 78 (+7) and is in a tie for 46th with a total of 150 (+8).
Vanderbilt is in second with a total of 578 (+10), and top-ranked Southern California is two shots ahead of the Gamecocks in third place with a total of 579 (+11). Host Stanford is in fifth with a score of 585 (+17), followed by Baylor (586), Oregon (589) and Georgia (595).
Southern California's Annie Park holds the individual lead with a total of 138 (-4).
The Gamecocks will tee off in the final round on Saturday at 8:36 a.m. PDT and will be paired with Stanford and Baylor. Live scoring will be available through Golfstat.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T12. Suzie Lee (3) 73-71=144 (+2) T17. Meredith Swanson (4) 75-70=145 (+3) T34. Sarah Schmelzel (2) 76-72=148 (+6) T46. Justine Dreher (1) 72-78=150 (+8) T72. Mary Fran Hillow (5) 82-72=154 (+12)
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