No. 26 Gamecock Women Set for NCAA Regional
May 5, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - For the 12th consecutive year, South Carolina's women's golf team will compete in the postseason as they make the 274-mile trek up Interstate 95 to Greenville, N.C., for the 2010 NCAA East Regional. The event, hosted by East Carolina University, runs Thursday through Saturday at the par 72, 6,057-yard Ironwood Country Club.
Playing this week for the Gamecocks, ranked 26th in the nation according to Golfweek/Sagarin, will be seniors Corrine Carr, Taylor Barrett and Benedicte Toumpsin, sophomore Katie Burnett and freshman Amanda Strang. The lineup will be the same as it has been for every full-field event during the spring season.
Four of those five played in last year's regional in Gainesville, Fla., where the Gamecocks finished in 12th place. Toumpsin has the most postseason experience, having played in all three previous regionals of her collegiate career. Her best showing in a regional - and of her career - came in the 2008 East Regional in Athens, Ga., where she took medalist honors in leading South Carolina to a berth in the NCAA Championship. She finished 26th in 2007 and 30th in 2009, and she has been the top finisher for the Gamecocks all three years.
Barrett and Carr will both be making their third appearances in a regional. Barrett tied for 68th in 2008 and improved one spot to a tie for 67th in 2009. Carr tied for 10th place while a sophomore at Furman in 2008 then tied for 58th competing for the Gamecocks last year. Burnett, in her only appearance, took a tie for 34th place last season.
The Gamecocks, who are seeded 10th in the 24-team field, got a sneak peek of this week's venue with a tri-match against Duke and East Carolina on April 24. Carolina finished second, defeating the then-No. 3 Blue Devils and coming up just three strokes short of the Pirates in the 36-hole outing. Carr and Burnett were the top finishers, tying for fourth place at 145 (+1).
South Carolina, as usual, will face a strong group of contenders this weekend, with 17 of the 24 teams ranked in the latest GolfWeek Top 50. Duke is the No. 1 seed in the regional, ranked eighth in the nation, followed by Auburn, which is the No. 2 seed but carries the No. 5 overall ranking. Pepperdine and Wake Forest are ranked ninth and 10th, respectively, followed by No. 15 Tennessee, No. 18 Florida, No. 20 Vanderbilt, No. 21 Florida State, No. 25 TCU, No. 26 South Carolina, No. 27 Tulane, No. 30 North Carolina, No. 36 Washington, No. 41 Chattanooga, No. 43 Georgia State, No. 46 Texas Tech and No. 50 Campbell. Teams outside the top 50 include Palmetto State foes Furman, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston and Charleston Southern, along with host East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Atlantic Sun champion Stetson and Northeast Conference champion Farleigh Dickinson. The Gamecocks are 30-37-1 against the teams in this week's field, having faced 16 of the 24 at some point this season.
Gamecock tee times for Thursday's first round begin at 8 a.m. as South Carolina is paired with Tulane and Chattanooga, starting on the No. 10 tee. Friday's second round will keep the same pairings with the Gamecocks, Green Wave and Mocs starting on No. 1 at 12:20 p.m. Live scoring is available through Golfstat.com, and fans can receive periodic updates via Twitter by following @GamecockWGolf.