March 17, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The 18th-ranked University of South Carolina men’s golf team heads to Statesboro, Ga. to compete in the Schenkel EZ-Go Invitational, March 19-20. The tournament is hosted by Georgia Southern and will be played at the par-72, 6,910 yard Forest Heights Country Club.
Freshman Mark Anderson, juniors Eirik Johansen and Robert Svensson and seniors Alex Hamilton and Jake Thompson are set to compete for South Carolina this weekend.
The Gamecocks face a tough field that features 10 of the top-25 teams in the nation. Along with South Carolina, participating schools include Auburn, Augusta State, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Louisiana State, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Southern California and Tennessee.
“I think we have some momentum going into this weekend, especially with Mark Anderson’s performance in Las Vegas,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “I also feel like we have a couple of other guys who are on the verge of putting up some impressive numbers.”
In its last tournament, South Carolina battled strong competition and illness to take eighth place at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in Las Vegas, Nev., March 11-13. Anderson, the reigning SEC Golfer of the Week, looks to repeat an impressive performance last weekend that placed him tied for first, the highest finish of his young collegiate career. He is ranked as the No. 13 individual in GolfWeek’s poll the country this week.
“This weekend’s tournament features a strong field composed of primarily the Eastern schools. We’ll see the best from both the ACC and SEC,” Blackmon said. “We’re in the middle of our spring run, and we need to continue to build momentum heading into the Hootie at Bulls Bay (March 26-28) and Augusta State Invitational (April 1-3), all the way up to the SEC Championship (April 14-16).”
The Gamecocks placed third at last year’s Schenkel EZ-Go Invitational and were led by Hamilton, who tied for 10th place at even par. Johansen and Svensson and Thompson placed in ties for 17th, 25th and 47th, respectively.
Play begins on Saturday with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. The teams play 36 holes Saturday and 18 on Sunday.