Gamecocks Steady in Opening Round at Tar Heel Invitational
Oct. 8, 2010
By Wes Todd
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - South Carolina once again got strong play from its three freshmen and battled its way to a 3-over-par 291 in the opening round of the Tar Heel Invitational on Friday. The Gamecocks are tied for eighth place among an elite field of women's college golf teams at the UNC Finley Golf Course.
Freshmen Suzie Lee and Katie Rose Higgins led the way for South Carolina as both fired even-par rounds of 72 to tie for 24th place. Starting on hole No. 10, Higgins was on fire in the early-going, posting a 3-under 33 on her first nine with birdies at holes 13, 14 and 17. The front nine (her second nine), however, was not as kind to the Charleston, S.C., native, as she managed one birdie on hole No. 4 surrounded by four bogeys. Higgins would close with three straight pars to card her best round thus far as a collegian.
Lee would also find success on the back nine with birdies on holes 11, 13 and 14 to go along with bogeys on Nos. 10 and 16, making the turn at 1-under 35. Her second nine was almost error free with eight pars, but a bogey at No. 6 dropped her to even par on the day. Her round of 72 also marked the best of her young collegiate career.
The team's third freshman, Samantha Swinehart, continued her steady play from the season's opening weekend as she posted a 73 (+1) to find herself in a tie for 36th place. The Lancaster, Ohio, native got off to a slow start with bogeys on her first two holes, but pulled herself back to even par with birdies at 13 and 15. A bogey at the 17th left her at 1-over at the turn. She made her way back to level par with another birdie at No. 3, then bogeyed the fifth before making four straight pars to end the day.
Junior Katie Burnett shot 74 (+2), as did sophomore Amanda Strang. Burnett bogeyed the opening 10th hole but made her way into red figures with back-to-back birdies at 12 and 13. However, it would be short-lived as a pair of bogeys at the 15th and 16th left her at 1-over as she made the turn. An almost clean slate on her second nine was cut short with a bogey on the ninth and final hole, ending a streak of 10 straight pars and dropping her to 2-over for the day. Strang made the turn at 4-over after bogeys at 11 and 15 and a double-bogey at the 17th. But she had the best second nine of any Gamecock with three birdies against just one bogey, equaling her best score of the year thus far.
Third-ranked Alabama lapped the field with an 11-under 277 on Friday to take an eight-shot lead over top-ranked LSU at 285 (-3). Duke and Florida are tied for third place at even-par 288; a mere six strokes separate second and eighth place. Individually, the Crimson Tide's Brooke Pancake shot a blazing 65 (-7) to lead by two shots over Tulane's Janine Fellows and LSU's Megan McChrystal.
The Gamecocks will be paired with Virginia and Wake Forest for Saturday's second round, which gets underway at 9 a.m. from the No. 1 tee. Live scoring will be available via golfstatresults.com.