May 23, 2013
ATHENS, Ga. -- The South Carolina women's golf team posted its best round of the NCAA Championship on Thursday, shooting a 4-over 292 in the third round at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
The Gamecocks, whose 292 is the second lowest NCAA Championship score in school history, will enter the final round in 22nd place with a three-round total of 901 (+37). Carolina turned in the fourth best score of the day and is in position to climb several spots on the final day as it is within 10 strokes of seven teams on the leaderboard.
"We were a little looser today," South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris said. "It was nice to get out early in the morning. The conditions were a little more scoreable. We got things going early, and that was big for us to build some momentum."
Freshman Sarah Schmelzel, who entered the day at 12-over, led the way on Thursday, matching her career low with a 2-under 70. A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Schmelzel climbed 43 spots up the leaderboard into a tie for 67th with a total of 226 (+10). She got off to a strong start early with three straight pars to begin the day and then birdied the par-3 13th to get into red numbers. Her only blemish on the scorecard was a bogey on the par-3 16th that dropped her back to even par. However, she played the final 11 holes at 2-under to get into the clubhouse with the low round of the day for the Gamecocks.
Sophomore Justine Dreher overcame a rough stretch of holes in the middle of her round to shoot a 1-over 73 to move into a tie for 72nd with a total of 227 (+11). She made birdie on two of her first four holes to get to 2-under but she found some trouble on the final three holes of her front nine, recording three straight bogeys. She shook off the rough stretch to make nine straight pars on the back side to finish the afternoon at 1-over.
Senior Meredith Swanson and junior Suzie Lee carded rounds of 74 (+2) and 75 (+3), respectively. Swanson, who tallied three birdies and five bogeys, finished the afternoon in a tie for 72nd with a total of 227 (+11). Lee recorded two birdies and five bogeys as she also finished the round in a tie for 72nd with a total of 227 (+11).
Rounding out the lineup, freshman Mary Fran Hillow turned in a 79 (+7) to wrap up the round in a tie for 114th with a total of 232 (+16).
Top-ranked Southern California added two its sizeable lead as it shot a 3-under 285 on Thursday to build a 17-stroke advantage with a total of 845 (-19). No. 3 Duke is in second with a total of 862 (-2), followed by No. 2 Alabama (872), No. 7 Purdue (873) and No. 8 UCLA (873). Southern California's Annie Park is in the individual lead with a total of 207 (-9). She holds a two-stroke lead over Mississippi State's Ally McDonald (209) and Alabama's Stephanie Meadow (209).
The Gamecocks will tee off in the final round on Friday at 7:30 a.m. and will be paired with Florida and Wisconsin. Live results will be available through Golfstat.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T67. Sarah Schmelzel (3) 76-80-70=226 (+10) T72. Suzie Lee (1) 74-78-75=227 (+11) T72. Meredith Swanson (2) 79-74-74=227 (+11) T72. Justine Dreher (4) 77-77-73=227 (+11) T114. Mary Fran Hillow (5) 77-76-79=232 (+16)
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