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Feb. 5, 2006

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – The University of South Carolina men’s golf team opened its spring season on Sunday by shooting a team score of 308 in the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship, played at Sawgrass Country Club (Par 72 — 6,910 yards) in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. After battling wind gusts up to 30 miles per hour and temperatures that began the day in the low 40s, the Gamecocks sit in a tie for fifth place, with tournament host North Florida and fellow SEC team LSU, heading into Monday’s second round.

Freshman Florian Fritsch (Wiesloch, Germany) led the Gamecocks in seventh place on the individual leaderboard. The German carded a two-over par 74 and is tied with Coastal Carolina’s Dustin Johnson, UCLA’s James Lee and Georgia State’s Darren Barnes. The foursome is six strokes behind the leader, Erik Flores of UCLA.

Freshman Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) and redshirt sophomore David Kite (Austin, Texas) both fired five-over par 77s and are tied for 23rd place following the opening 18 holes. Kite is competing as individual, while Koon’s score counted toward the Gamecocks’ team total.

Senior Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) is locked in a tie for 32nd place after shooting six-over par (78) and sophomore Mark Anderson sits tied for 44th following a first-round 79 (+7).

Sophomore Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) rounded out the Gamecock lineup with an 81 (+9). He is tied for 55th.

UCLA owns the team lead after shooting 290 on Sunday. Alabama sits in second place at 300. Other SEC teams in the 15-team field include Auburn and Tennessee in a tie for 10th and Florida in 15th place. Coastal Carolina sits in 14th.

Play continues with 18 holes on Monday and concludes with 18 holes on Tuesday. Live scoring is available throughout the tournament online at

South Carolina Individuals (First Round)T7    Florian Fritsch        74T23  Allen Koon     77T32  Eirik Johansen     78T44  Mark Anderson   79T55 Warren Thomas    81T23 David Kite ( I )    77
Team Leaderboard (First Round)
Place Team Scores1 UCLA 290 +22 Alabama 300 +123 Texas Tech 301 +134 Georgia State 304 +16T5 North Florida 308 +20T5 South Carolina 308 +20T5 Louisiana State 308 +208 Texas-Arlington 309 +219 Missouri 312 +24T10 Auburn 313 +25T10 Tennessee 313 +2512 Mercer 317 +2913 UAB 318 +3014 Coastal Carolina 319 +3115 Florida 320 +32