Gamecocks 14th After One Round at Pac-10/SEC Challenge
Nov. 5, 2010
By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director
STANFORD, Calif. - Despite early struggles at the Stanford Golf Course, South Carolina's women finished with a flurry of birdies and eagles to shoot 299 (+15) in Friday's opening round of the inaugural Pac-10/SEC Challenge. The Gamecocks are in 14th place in the stacked 21-team field with two rounds left to play.
The Gamecocks were lingering toward the bottom of the team standings as the groups neared the seventh tee, their 16th hole of the day after starting on the back nine. But three eagles - one apiece from Suzie Lee, Katie Rose Higgins and Katie Burnett - helped shave six strokes off the team score to boost Carolina back up the leaderboard at the par 71, 6,148 yard Stanford course.
Lee was the top scorer for South Carolina in the opening round, posting a 2-over-par 73 to lead the Gamecocks on Friday. It was a slow start for Lee as she bogeyed three of her first eight holes and made the turn at 3-over. That number swelled to 5-over after a double-bogey on No. 5. But a birdie-par-eagle finish - including holing out from the fairway on the par-4 ninth - gave her a 1-under front nine and a 2-over day. Lee is tied for 29th place through 18 holes of play.
Burnett, the team's leader in scoring average so far this season, posted an opening 74 (+3) to tie for 39th place after one round. Burnett had a very similar round to Lee, carding three straight bogeys at one point on her opening nine, then recording two more after the turn to stand 5-over through 12 holes. But an eagle at the short par-5 seventh hole highlighted an error-free final six holes for the junior from Brunswick, Ga.
Higgins, a freshman from Charleston, had slightly better luck in the early-going than Lee and Burnett. She was 1-over at the turn after bogeys at 14 and 15 and a birdie at the 17th. But bogeys at Nos. 1 and 5 and a double-bogey at the sixth dropped her to 5-over with three to play. Like Burnett, however, Higgins would card an eagle on the par-5 seventh to get back to 3-over, but a closing bogey would leave her with a 75 (+4) and a tie for 49th place.
UCLA leads the way after one round with an opening 285 (+1), one shot ahead of Arizona and Auburn, who both shot 286 (+2). A total of 13 teams are within 10 shots of the tournament lead in the highly competitive field. Individually, Joanne Lee of California had the round of the day with a 65 (-6), and she holds a one-shot lead over Vanderbilt's Marina Alex. Cydney Clanton of Auburn is in third place at 3-under.
The Gamecocks will once again start on the 10th tee for Saturday's second round, and they will be paired this time with Mississippi, Oregon and Florida. Tee times for the foursomes begin at 11:20 a.m. ET (8:20 a.m. PT), and live scoring is available via golstatresults.com.