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March 20, 2005

STATESBORO, Ga. – A week after tying for first and falling in a playoff at the prestigious Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, South Carolina freshman golfer Mark Anderson captured the first outright individual title of his career at the Schenkel E-Z-Go on Sunday at Forest Heights Country Club (Par 72 – 6,962 yards).

“Mark just continues an incredible streak,” South Carolina head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “I’ve not had a freshman win two events in one spring this early. He’s definitely been a sparkplug and catalyst for this team.”

Anderson, a native of Beaufort, S.C., headed into the final 18 holes on Sunday in a tie for sixth place, but fired an even-par 72. He birdied the final hole and ended the round tied with Jon David Kennedy of tournament-host Georgia Southern. The pair battled in playoff, and Anderson came away with the victory on the second hole, taking home medalist honors in just his fifth collegiate event.

“The thing that was amazing was that he had three, three-puts in a row on the back nine and lost the lead,” Blackmon said. “The final hole was a difficult par five. He hit a three wood from about 260 yards out to within 20 feet of the hole. He birdied to send it to playoff. He made a good par on first playoff hole. The ninth hole was the second playoff hole and Mark made an incredible up and down and birdied to win.”

After sitting in a tie for third entering today, USC finished sixth (of 15) in the final team standings with a total score of 885 (+21). Duke won the team title, finishing with two-under par score of 868.

Senior Alex Hamilton was tied for second following play on Saturday and ended up in a tie for 16th (74-68-78=220). Junior Robert Svensson placed in a tie for 32nd (73-75-76=224), and junior Eirik Johansen tied for 41st (74-75-77=226). Senior Jake Thompson finished tied for 65th (75-75-85=235).

“I was disappointed in our team’s play in the final round. The course was set up extremely tricky, and it required a lot of patience. Our play indicated that we are not quite there yet,” Blackmon said. “It was good to play in final pairing and put our team under the gun. Hopefully that will pay off at conference and postseason.”

The Gamecocks will be back in action next weekend, March 27-29, when they compete in the first annual Hootie at Bulls Bay Tournament at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C., near Charleston.

1 Mark Anderson, 72-71-72 = 215 (-1)
T16 Alex Hamilton, 74-68-78 = 220 (+6)
T32 Robert Svensson, 73-75-76 = 224 (+8)
T41 Eirik Johansen, 74-75-77 = 226 (+10)
T65 Jake Thompson, 75-75-85 = 235 (+19)

Place, School, Score, Par
1. Duke, 293-289-286=868 (+4)
2. Auburn, 291-288-290=869 (+5)
T3. Tennessee, 290-288-304=882 (+18)
T3. Georgia, 304-290-288=882 (+18)
5. Georgia Southern, 288-298-297=883 (+19)
6. South Carolina, 293-289-303=885
7. Minnesota, 302-283-301=886 (+22)
8. Augusta State, 299-294-295=888 (+24)
9. North Carolina, 299-296-294=889 (+25)
10. Florida, 296-298-296=890 (+26)
11. LSU, 304-298-299=901 (+37)
12. Clemson, 298-301-304=903 (+39)
13. Ohio State, 311-301-292=903 (+40)
14. Southern California, 300-299-310=909 (+45)
15. North Carolina State, 307-303-307=917 (+53)