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April 1, 2005

Gamecocks Prepare for Augusta State Invitational
The University of South Carolina men’s golf team will compete this weekend at the Augusta State University Invitational, hosted by the Augusta Golf Association and Administaff. Teams will play 54 holes Saturday and Sunday, April 2-3, at Forest Hills Golf Club (Par 72- 7,231 yards) in Augusta, Ga.

The Augusta State Invitational Field
The field for the Augusta State Invitational features some of the best teams in the nation with nine of the 18 competing teams ranked in Golfweek’s top 25. The following schools join South Carolina at Forest Hills Golf Club: Alabama, Augusta State, Central Florida, Clemson, Duke, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Georgia Southern, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Carolina State, North Florida, Notre Dame, Southern California, Toledo, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

Carolina Lineup
Freshmen Mark Anderson and Warren Thomas, juniors Eirik Johansen and West Streib and senior Alex Hamilton will compete for South Carolina at the Augusta State Invitational. This marks the second time this season head coach Puggy Blackmon has used this particular lineup.

Johansen has 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- 6, 18, 72.61, 66
Eirik Johansen- 8, 24, 74.13, 70
Alex Hamilton- 7, 21, 74.29, 66
West Strieb- 5, 15, 75.53, 71
Warren Thomas- 4, 12, 75.67, 72

Gamecocks in the Rankings
In the latest Golfweek Collegiate Top 50 rankings release on March 27, South Carolina moved up a spot to No. 17 in the team poll. Gamecock freshman Mark Anderson also moved up a slot to No. 6 in the Individual rankings. He is the SEC’s highest ranked golfer. Junior Eirik Johansen appears in the top 100, at No. 89.

Other Southeastern Conference teams in the poll include, No. 3 Georgia, No. 6 Florida, No. 7 Auburn, No. 12 Tennessee, No. 22 Alabama, No. 23 Kentucky, No. 44 LSU and No. 46 Vanderbilt. The SEC boasts more teams in the top 50 than any other conference in the country.

Coach’s Corner
“This is our fourth event in as many weeks. It will be interesting to see how, after finishing the Hootie at Bulls Bay on Tuesday, the team rebounds to get ready to play this weekend. I still feel like we are very close to breaking through. We have been in the final pairing the last couple of tournaments, and that has been good experience. I^m looking for the team to play together, especially in the final round. Each of our top four players has had their moments and opportunities. Hopefully, we^ll start peaking at the right time.~┢┢

Last Time on the Links
Carolina picked up a seventh-place finish March 28-29 at the inaugural Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate (Par 71 — 7,147 yards), played at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, S.C. After an opening round 288 on Monday, the Gamecocks fired rounds of 296 and 297 to wrap up the tournament.

The Gamecocks sat in a tie for second entering the final two rounds, but finished seventh (of 15) in the final team standings with a total score of 881. Kentucky won the team title by defeating Augusta State in a one-hole playoff and both teams finished with a total score of 866. ┢┢

2005 Gamecocks in the Record Books
After shooting a total score of 209 at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship March 11-13, freshman Mark Anderson jumped into the record books tying for the 16th-lowest three-round tournament score in school history. His 66 in the first round also placed him in a tie for 12th on the list of all-time top individual rounds.

Five weeks earlier, at the SunTrust Gator Invitational Feb. 4-6, junior Eirik Johansen’s score of 211 and Anderson’s score of 212 both placed among the 50 lowest tournament scores in school history.

During fall play at the Gary Koch/ Cleveland Golf Intercollegiate Oct. 11-12, Alex Hamilton’s s 66 in the second round tied his personal best low-round score and placed it in a tie for 12th among the all-time top individual rounds in Gamecock history.

Coming Up
Following the Augusta State Invitational, the Gamecocks will enjoy two weeks off from competition before making a run at the conference title. All 12 conference teams will travel to Sea Island, Ga., April 14-17, to vie for the 2005 SEC Championship.

How to Get Results
Live tournament results can be found at as well as Augusta State’s athletics Web site, At the conclusion of each day, a recap and current standings can be found on South Carolina’s athletics Web site,