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May 20, 2005

Gamecock head coach Puggy Blackmon shares his thoughts on the team’s performance thus far in the NCAA West Regional. Blackmon has led Carolina to NCAA Regional play in each of his 10 seasons as the head coach.

“I’m very proud of this group. Despite tough starts, they’ve fought back and remained in the hunt. The course is very difficult and is what we normally see at NCAA Finals. There is high rough and U.S. Open-width fairways demand great patience and discipline.

“The field is very strong with the balance of power being in the West this year. Each and every year the parity in college golf becomes more apparent.

“We’re becoming a little more comfortable with the layout each round. We have been at a disadvantage due to the fact that the majority of the Western schools have played the Stanford Course on numerous occasions.

“The team is definitely starting to peak and show the mental toughness and patience required for a difficult championship course and NCAA play. Our best golf is yet to be played and hopefully tomorrow will be a good one. “There’s very little difference in the top 15 teams here, so we’ll have to play well to advance.

On Senior Alex Hamilton: “Alex showed tremendous tenacity yesterday after being five over part through the first five holes and finishing with a 74. He was impressive today and could have been much lower if his putts had fallen.”

On Freshman Mark Anderson: “Opposing coaches cannot believe he’s a freshman. He never gets rattled and plays the game with a simple, no nonsense approach. He could rewrite several records at USC.”

On Junior Eirik Johansen: “He’s rapidly returning to All-American form. Eirik is asserting himself more and is very close to low numbers.”

On Redshirt Junior West Streib: “West has developed into a total player this spring. He is playing with great patience and could play a key role in tomorrow’s finish.”

On Junior Robert Svensson: “Robert played a huge role in today’s round. He played tougher and under par on the final nine holes. Hopefully the round today will boost his confidence and patience tomorrow.”