March 26, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s golf team is slated to compete in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Tournament this weekend at Bulls Bay Golf Club, in Awendaw, S.C., near Charleston. Following a practice round on Saturday, March 26, play begins on Sunday, March 27, and continues through Tuesday, March 29. USC serves as a tri-host for the event along with College of Charleston and Clemson.
THE “HOOTIE” FIELD
The field for Hootie at Bulls Bay features the best teams from the Southeast part of the country. Eight of the 15 teams competing are ranked in Golfweek’s top 25. The following schools join South Carolina, Clemson and College of Charleston at Bulls Bay Golf Club: Auburn, Alabama, Augusta State, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Louisiana State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest.
Freshman Mark Anderson, juniors Eirik Johansen, Robert Svensson and West Streib and senior Alex Hamilton will compete for South Carolina at Bulls Bay. This marks the first time this season head coach Puggy Blackmon has used this particular lineup. Johansen and Svensson have played in every round for USC in 2004-05.
Here’s a quick look at the Gamecocks’ lineup for this weekend:
Player, Tourneys, Rounds, Stroke Avg., Low Rd.
Mark Anderson, 5, 15, 72.13, 66
Alex Hamilton, 6, 18, 74.56, 66
Eirik Johansen, 7, 21, 74.19, 70
Robert Svensson,7, 21, 74.52, 70
West Strieb 4, 12, 76.08, 72
“We’re very excited about the tournament,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said, “especially since we played a role in making it happen. Once again, the field should be very strong. I expect a good finish and feel that we’re very close to putting it all together. “
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
In the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Collegiate Top 50 rankings release on March 21, South Carolina is No. 18 in the team poll. Following his win at the Schenkel E-Z-Go, Gamecock freshman Mark Anderson jumped from No. 13 to No. 7 in the Individual rankings. He is the SEC’s highest ranked golfer. Junior Eirik Johansen appears in the top 100, at No. 88.
Other Southeastern Conference teams in the poll include, No. 3 Georgia, No. 6 Florida, No. 8 Auburn, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 22 Alabama, No. 23 Kentucky, No. 43 LSU and No. 45 Vanderbilt. The SEC boasts more teams in the top 50 than any other league in the country.
ANDERSON CAPTURES SCHENKEL E-Z-GO TITLE
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 Invitational on March 20 at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga.
Anderson headed into the final 18 holes on Sunday in a tie for sixth place, but fired an even-par 72 to force a playoff. 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. He was the only player in the field to shoot par or better in all three rounds , finishing with a score of 215 (72-71-72, -1).
ANDERSON REPEATS AS SEC GOLFER OF THE WEEK
Following his victory at the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational, Mark Anderson earned Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Week honors for the second straight week. on March 23. Anderson and Mississippi State senior Joey Deraney share the award after capturing medalist honors at their respective tournaments.
Anderson was also named SEC Golfer of the Week on March 15 after finishing tied for first at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship. He battled a field that included eight of the top 10 golfers in the country and finished tied for first before falling in a playoff.
LAST TIME ON THE LINKS
Freshman Mark Anderson captured the first outright individual title of his career and the Gamecocks finished sixth as a team at at the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational. The tournament was held on Saturday and Sunday, March 19-20, at Forest Heights Country Club (Par 72 – 6,962 yards) in Statesboro, Ga.
Carolina sat in a tie for third entering the final round, but 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.
Anderson shot one-under par for the tournament (72-71-72=215) and defeated Jon David Kennedy of Georgia Southern in a two-hole playoff to take home medalist honors.
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).
HEAD COACH Puggy Blackmon
Puggy Blackmon, who was inducted to the Golf Coaches’ Association of America Hall of Fame in 2005, enters is 10th season at the helm of the Gamecock men’s golf program.
During Blackmon’s tenure at South Carolina, the Gamecocks have advanced to NCAA Regional every year, and of those nine regional berths, USC competed in five NCAA finals. The Gamecocks also finished runner-up at the 1998 SEC Championship under his direction.
Before taking over at South Carolina, Blackmon served as head golf coach at Georgia Tech from 1983-1995. While at Georgia Tech, he led the Rambling Wreck to five top-seven national finishes and was named ACC Coach of the Year four times (1984, 1985, 1992, 1993).
Blackmon has coached his teams to 20-consecutive NCAA Tournaments, from 1985-2004. He has also tutored 24 All-Americans, 16 All-ACC performers and 13 All-SEC performers, and his teams have captured 35 in-season tournament championships.
HAMILTON WINS TEAM BANDIT AWARD
Senior Alex Hamilton collected 155 points and edged freshman Mark Anderson to win the team’s fourth Bandit Award at the Schenkel EZ-Go Invitational March 19-20 in Statesboro, Ga. He joins teammates Anderson and junior Robert Svensson as Bandit Award winners this season.
The Bandit Award is a sophisticated point system based on one-putts, chip-ins, holes under par and each round’s score in relation to the field. It recognizes the team’s best overall scorer at each event.
A native of Aiken, S.C., Hamilton finished the tournament tied for 16th place with a 6-over par total score of 220. He shot a team tournament low-round score of 68 in the second round and went into the final day tied for second place.
TEAM ACHIEVES RECORD GPA IN 2004
Six USC golfers earned Dean’s List honors as the team achieved a record-high overall grade point average of 3.5 during the Fall 2004 semester. Freshman Patrick Cunning of Aiken, S.C. led the team with a grade point average of 3.9.
Golfers named to the Dean’s List are freshmen Mark Anderson, Beaufort, S.C.; Patrick Cunning, Aiken, S.C.; and Warren Thomas, Columbia, S.C.; juniors Eirik Johansen, Stavanger, Norway and West Streib, Atlanta, Ga.; and senior Jake Thompson, Greenville, S.C.