Dec. 16, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Three standout women's golfers have signed National Letters of Intent and will attend the University of South Carolina beginning with the 2010-11 season, coach Kalen Anderson announced today.
Joining the Gamecocks next fall will be Katie Rose Higgins (Charleston, S.C.), Suzie Lee (East Northport, N.Y.) and Samantha Swinehart (Lancaster, Ohio). Anderson is excited about the prospects for this group of highly sought-after recruits.
"I am very excited about our 2010 recruiting class," Anderson said. "All three players are very passionate about the game of golf, as well as all being highly motivated individuals."
Higgins has long been known as a standout within the state of South Carolina and will exhibit her talents while wearing the Garnet and Black in the coming years. A senior at First Baptist School in Charleston, Higgins is the reigning South Carolina Junior Champion and has captured several more championships, including the Jimmy Self Invitational (where she broke the tournament record by seven shots), the Upstate Junior and the Beth Daniel Junior Azalea. While playing on the boys' golf team at FBS, she was named the regional player of the year. The daughter of Citadel head football coach Kevin Higgins, she has also competed in volleyball and basketball for her high school.
"Katie is an incredible talent and competitor," Anderson said. "Last summer she dominated her competition in the state of South Carolina. She has a work ethic and desire that is second to none; that will only lead to great things."
Lee has been the MVP of her high school team for three years and was the New York girls' state champion in 2008 while competing for Commack High School on Long Island. She has been a force on the national level as well, winning a pair of American Junior Golf Association events in 2009 and taking home five top-5 finishes in AJGA competition. She advanced to the round of 16 in match play at the 2009 U.S. Girls Junior Amateur and finished 17th at the 2007 Girls Junior. She was a 2009 AJGA Rolex All-America selection as well as a Future Collegians World Tour All-American. She is the No. 21-ranked junior golfer in the Class of 2010, according to Golfweek.
"Suzie has a very impressive junior golf record that will add experience to our young team next year," Anderson said. "Her ball striking and length continue to produce success for Suzie."
Swinehart brings a third state championship title to the Gamecocks as she captured the Ohio high school state crown in 2008 while competiting for Lancaster High School. She qualified for the state tournament all four years and was a three-time first-team all-state selection. Swinehart has six top-10 finishes on the AJGA circuit and a pair of runner-up showings in PGA Junior Series events. Swinehart advanced to match play at the 2008 U.S. Girls Junior Amateur and won the 2008 Hudson Invitational. Her father, Steve Swinehart, is a 1980 South Carolina graduate and was a reserve quarterback for the Gamecock football team from 1976-79.
"Samantha is a great athlete who will add mental toughness to our team," Anderson said. "One quality that really impressed me about Sam is that she has a strong ability to simply `get the job done' without getting too caught up in the `how' or technical aspects of the game. She is a true competitor."
Anderson believes that this group will be a fantastic addition to what will likely be a very young team next year with few upperclassmen.
"I am looking forward to the contributions that the class of 2010 will make both on and off the golf course," she said. "They each bring a strong work ethic that will help take our program to the next level, as well as help to build a foundation for Gamecock women's golf for years to come."
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