May 16, 2005
COLUMBIA, S.C. – The University of South Carolina men’s golf team will travel to the West Coast for NCAA Regional play this week. The Gamecocks are set to compete in the NCAA West Regional, May 19-21, at Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif. Carolina is the No. 8 seed in the 27-team field and is joined by fellow Southeastern Conference schools No. 3 Auburn and No. 11 LSU.
The low 10 teams and the low two individuals at each region will move on to compete for at the 108th NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, June 1-4, at Caves Valley Golf Course in Owings Mills, Md., near Baltimore.
SEC Sends 10 Teams Into Regional Action
Ten of the 12 Southeastern Conference teams were selected to one of the three NCAA Regionals. The East Regional, played at the The Golf Club of Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn., features five league teams, including No. 1 Georgia, No. 3 Florida, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 8 Alabama and No. 18 Vanderbilt. Conference champion Kentucky, the No. 3 seed, is joined by No. 18 Arkansas in the Central Regional at Warren Golf Course in South Bend, Ind.
Mississippi and Mississippi State are the only two SEC teams not to make the regional field, but both will have invididual representatives. Ole Miss’ Jordan Dempsey and MSU’s Joe Deraney were also selected to participate in the East Regional.
The 2005 NCAA West Regional Field
The 2005 NCAA West Regional field includes 10 teams ranked in Golfweek’s top 25 in the nation and the nation’s top individual, UNLV’s Ryan Moore. During the 2004-05 season, South Carolina only has faced eight of the 27 participating teams in tournament play: UNLV, New Mexico, Arizona State, UCLA, Southern California, Washington and SEC foes Auburn and LSU.
The rest of the participating teams are Arizona, Brigham Young, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UC Riverside, St. Mary’s, Stanford, Texas-Arlington, Colorado State, Cal Poly, Fresno State, Oregon, Denver, South Alabama, Illinois State, Samford, Princeton and Central Connecticut State.
Freshman Mark Anderson, juniors Eirik Johansen, West Streib and Robert Svensson, along with senior Alex Hamilton will compete for South Carolina at the NCAA West Regional.
Hamilton and Johansen will each be making their third appearance in NCAA Regional play, while Streib and Svensson will be playing in their second Regional for the Gamecocks. Here’s a quick look at the Carolina lineup in Stanford:
Player, Tourneys, Rounds, Stroke Avg., Low Rd.
Mark Anderson, 8, 24, 73.33, 66
Eirik Johansen, 10, 30, 74.70, 70
Alex Hamilton, 9, 27, 74.89, 66
West Strieb 7, 21, 75.86, 71
Robert Svensson 8, 24, 75.17, 69
“We’ll see a new course and teams we have not played,” said head coach Puggy Blackmon. “We played well in Las Vegas (at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship) and a change of scenery may get us going.”
Carolina’s NCAA History
The 2005 NCAA West Regional marks the 10th straight trip to regional play for South Carolina men’s golf under head coach Puggy Blackmon. The Gamecocks have gone on to play at the NCAA Championship 12 times, six under Blackmon.
South Carolina at the 2004 NCAA East Regional
With a 17th-place finish at the 2004 NCAA East Regional, the Gamecocks missed qualifying for last year’s NCAA Championship. Four current South Carolina golfers played on last year’s regional team, which shot a total score of 889 on the Yale Golf Course (Par 70 – 6,749 yards) in New Haven, Conn. Current senior Jake Thompson tied for 66th, junior Eirik Johansen tied for 85th and senior Alex Hamilton and junior Robert Svensson both tied for 90th.
Anderson Named SEC Freshman of the Year
Freshman Mark Anderson was named the 2005 SEC Freshman of the Year and also earned All-Conference honors for his play during his rookie season. The two-time SEC Golfer of the Week is the only freshman to make the All-SEC first team and one of only two rookies on the first or second team.
Anderson, who hails from Beaufort, S.C., won two events in his inaugural collegiate golf season, the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in Las Vegas and the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in Statesboro, Ga. He ranks 25th in the latest Golfweek Individual Rankings and boasts a 73.33 stroke average, the best of any South Carolina golfer.
Streib Recognized as SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Redshirt junior West Streib was named SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and also was named to the SEC Good Works Team for the second straight season.
The Atlanta, Ga., product has compiled a 3.59 grade point average in international business and finance while minoring in Spanish. He graduated from USC in four years, receiving his diploma on May 6. A three-year letterman for the Gamecocks, Streib has a 75.86 scoring average this season and placed 18th at the SEC Championships.
Last Time on the Links
South Carolina battled a tough course and strong winds to tie 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.
In his final conference championship, senior Alex Hamilton led the Gamecocks by finishing in a tie for 14th with a 12-over par final score of 222. Teammate West Streib finished two strokes behind Hamilton with a 14-over par final score of 224, good for 18th.
Freshman Mark Anderson and junior Eirik Johansen both placed in ties for 31st with final scores of 17-over par 227. Freshman Warren Thomas rounded out play for the Gamecocks in 55th place with a 28-over par final score of 238.
Gamecocks in the Rankings
In the latest Golfweek rankings released May 8, the Gamecocks are 20th in the nation, while freshman Mark Anderson holds down the 25th spot in the individual rankings.