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April 17, 2005

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga.– The No. 20 University of South Carolina men’s golf team tied with LSU for sixth place at the SEC Championship, played at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course (Par 70 – 7,005 yards) in St. Simon’s Island, Ga. The Gamecocks shot a team score of 301 in the third round to finish with a 59-over par final score of 899.

“The golf course played very difficult and we had to deal with 25 mph winds the last three days,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “So although our finish was not as high as we’d hoped, it was very respectable. This course is a lot like what we’ll see at the NCAA East Regional and the NCAA Championship, so it only will help us.”

Kentucky beat Auburn by two strokes to win the team title with a 35-over par total score of 875. Florida, the 2004 runner-up, sat in first place entering today’s final round, but finished fourth after shooting a 22-over par 302 in the third round.

Tennessee’s David Skinns earned medalist honors with a final score of 210 (E), edging Georgia’s Richard Scott by one stroke.

“This conference is probably the strongest it’s ever been and we finished right about where the national rankings had us,” said Blackmon. “Kentucky and Auburn are senior-led teams and we’re not quite there yet.”

In his final conference championship, senior Alex Hamilton (Aiken, S.C.) led the Gamecocks by finishing in a tie for 14th with a 12-over par final score of 222. He came into today in a tie for 11th place after two rounds and shot a 75 (+3) in the final round.

Teammate West Streib finished two strokes behind Hamilton with a 14-over par final score of 224. By shooting a 75 (+5) in the final round, the junior from Atlanta, Ga. moved up two spots to finish the championship in a tie for 18th.

Freshman Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) and junior Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) both placed in ties for 31st with final scores of 17-over par 227. In today’s third round, Anderson and Johansen carded rounds of 76 (+6) and 75 (+5), respectively. After shooting a third-round score of 82 (+12), freshman Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) rounded out play for the Gamecocks in 55th place with a 28-over par final score of 238.

“We started poorly today and were in 10th place at one point,” Blackmon said. “But we finished strong on the back nine and considering the course and conditions, our finish was very positive.”

Full tournament results can be found at

Next up for South Carolina is the UK Derby Invitational May 9-10 in Lexington, Ky. The field for the NCAA East Regional, which will be played May 19-21 at the Golf Club of Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn., will be announced Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET.

T14 Alex Hamilton 73-74-75 = 222 (+12)
T18 West Streib 74-75-75 = 224 (+14)
T31 Mark Anderson 73-78-76 = 227 (+17)
T31 Eirik Johansen 78-74-75 = 227 (+17)
55 Warren Thomas 79-77-82 = 238 (+28)

1 Kentucky 290-302-283 = 875 (+35)
2 Auburn 296-295-286 = 877 (+37)
3 Georgia 302-292-289 = 883 (+43)
4 Florida 294-292-302 = 888 (+48)
5 Tennessee 298-298-293 = 889 (+49)
T6 South Carolina 298-300-301 = 899 (+59)
T6 LSU 305-299-295 = 899 (+59)
8 Arkansas 305-304-296 = 905 (+65)
9 Alabama 295-300-313 = 908 (+68)
10 Mississippi St. 303-301-310 = 914 (+74)
11 Mississippi 311-309-295 = 915 (+75)
12 Vanderbilt 306-302-309 = 917 (+77)