May 5, 2003
Columbia, S.C. – South Carolina freshman golfer Eirik Johansen, the Gamecocks’ stroke average leader, was named First-Team All-SEC in a vote by the league’s coaches, conference officials announced Monday.
The Freshman from Norway is averaging 72.28 in 32 rounds played and has finished in the Top 10 in seven of 11 tournaments this year and was ranked 42nd in the nation in the latest Golf Week rankings. Johansen has placed as high as fourth this season, tying for fourth place at the Turtle Bay Intercollegiate and the Cleveland Golf-ASU Invitational. Johansen’s round at the Cleveland Golf-AU Invitational was the best of his young career, finishing with rounds of 72-65-68 for a total of 205. The round of 65 that Johansen shot was the best mark of the season for Johansen.
“In all aspects of the game, physical, talent, technique, commitment, and maturity, Eirik ranks as one of the best freshman I have coached in 21 years,” said South Carolina head men’s golf coach Puggy Blackmon. “He has a tremendous upside and is a strong factor in helping us mold a very young team.”
Johansen is the first men’s golfer at South Carolina to be named to the First Team All-SEC since Kyle Thompson (1999-2001) and is the 10th All-SEC performer Coach Blackmon has coached in his eight seasons with the Gamecocks. Thompson currently plays on the Nationwide Tour.
The University of South Carolina men’s golf team is ranked fifth in the district, according to the South District Ranking Committee. The Southeastern Conference has four of the top five team including the Florida Gators, Georgia, Auburn and South Carolina. The district rankings are used to determine the selection of the NCAA Regionals. So far this season the Gamecocks have placed in the top five in five tournaments, including three third place finishes. South Carolina is coming off a fifth place finish at the 2003 SEC Championships and looks ahead to earning its 15th NCAA Regional berth. This year’s regionals will take place in Auburn, Ala. (East), Manhattan, Kan. (Central) and Auburn, Wash. (West). The regionals will be announced on Monday evening.