LSU Golf Classic Begins Friday for Gamecock Women
March 10, 2011
By Wes Todd
South Carolina will send out a roster of one junior, two sophomores and two true freshmen for the second straight event. Leading the way is junior Katie Burnett (Brunswick, Ga.), who has played in every event through her two-plus years in the Garnet and Black. Sophomore Amanda Strang (Jonstorp, Sweden) also continues her streak of never missing an event as she plays in her 18th consecutive tournament. Fellow sophomore Meredith Swanson (Roanoke, Va.) will be making her third tournament appearance of the season after a strong showing at the UCF Challenge.
Freshmen Katie Rose Higgins (Charleston, S.C.) and Samantha Swinehart (Lancaster, Ohio) complete the Gamecock lineup as both have been impressive throughout the early part of the season and also in recent qualifying matches. Freshman Suzie Lee (East Northport, N.Y.) continues to recover from a wrist injury and is traveling with the team, but will not play this weekend.
One of the toughest fields of the season awaits the Gamecocks as 14 of the 20 competing teams are ranked in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin top 50. Leading the way are a pair of SEC foes - top-ranked Alabama and tournament host LSU, ranked No. 4 in the nation. Arkansas (15), Tennessee (16), Carolina (33), Mississippi (40) and Kentucky (50) round out the ranked SEC contingent. Other ranked foes include No. 6 Duke, No. 12 Tulane, No. 13 North Carolina, No. 17 Wake Forest, No. 26 Texas A&M and No. 29 TCU. Charleston, Furman, ULM, Mississippi State, NC State and UNC Wilmington complete the 20-team field. So far this season, South Carolina is 11-19-2 against the teams in the field.
It will be the Gamecocks' second trip in three years to Baton Rouge. The last time here, then-junior Benedicte Toumpsin put together the best 54 holes of her collegiate career and the best final round in Gamecock history, tying for first place at the 2009 LSU Golf Classic before falling on the second hole of a three-way playoff with Arkansas' Lucy Nunn and Virginia's Calle Nielson. Toumpsin turned in a bogey-free 68 on Sunday and finished with a 7-under-par 209, five shots better than her previous 54-hole record. The Gamecocks finished tied for 10th in the team standings at 20-over after a final-round score of 287 (-1). It was the first time in school history that the team finished in red figures in the final round of a tournament. Burnett, a freshman at the time, tied for 16th place with a 1-over-par 217.
Carolina will be paired with Duke and TCU for Friday's first round, and the three teams will tee off at 10:30 a.m. ET on the No. 1 tee. Live scoring is available via golfstatresults.com, and periodic updates are available via Twitter by following @GamecockWGolf.