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Sept. 6, 2005

TANAGURA, Japan – The South Carolina men’s golf team opened its 2005 season halfway across the world on Tuesday in the TOPY Cup, played at Tanagura Country Club (Par 72/7,127 yards) in Tanagura, Japan. Through one round, the Gamecocks sit in fourth place after carding a 294 (+6).

South Carolina is one of four collegiate men’s teams from the United States competing with seven Japanese men’s teams in the 23rd annual event. Georgia State, Michigan State and Pepperdine are also representing the U.S.

Senior Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) set the pace for USC in the opening round by firing a two-under par 70. Johansen is tied for fourth place on the individual leader board.

Junior Robert Svensson (Mjolby, Sweden) is one stroke behind Johansen after shooting a 71. Svensson sits in a tie for sixth place.

Playing in his first collegiate event, redshirt freshman Patrick Cunning (Aiken, S.C.) finished with a one-over par 73 on the opening 18 holes, good for a tie for 12th place.

Sophomores Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) and Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) rounded out the Gamecock lineup by shooting an 80 (+8) and are tied for 55th.

Georgia State leads the tournament with an opening round score of 281 (-7). Pepperdine shot a 301 (+13), good for eighth place, and Michigan State finished with a first-round 303 (+15) and in 10th place.

Play continues with the second round on Wednesday, Sept. 7. The tournament concludes on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Along with head coach Puggy Blackmon, the team departed for Japan on Saturday, Sept. 3. The trip included two hours by plane to Chicago, 13 hours by plane to Tokyo and a four-hour bus trip to Tanagura. The exhausted crew ended its travel on Sunday and attended a welcome dinner that evening.

USC Individual Results (First Round, Sept. 6)

T4 Eirik Johansen, 70 (-2)
T6 Robert Svensson, 71 (-1)
T12 Patrick Cunning, 73 (+1)
T55 Mark Anderson, 80 (+8)
T55 Warren Thomas, 80 (+8)