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March 26, 2006

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AWENDAW, S.C. – The South Carolina men’s golf team teed off the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in strong fashion, firing a five-under par 279, its best team round of the season, Sunday at Bulls Bay Golf Club (Par 71) in Awendaw, S.C. The Gamecocks head into Monday’s second round in second place, five strokes behind team leader Wake Forest (275, -9).

“A young team gave a glimpse of exciting things to come,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “Eirik Johansen had a breakthrough round and is beginning to play a champion. Florian, Mark and Allen played with a lot of patience and are starting to develop confidence and attitude to win.”

The Gamecocks counted four scores of even par or better and have two golfers among the individual top six. Senior captain Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) set the tone for South Carolina by carding his best round of the year, a four-under-par 67. Johansen collected five birdies and scored only a single bogey. He sits tied for first on the individual leaderboard along with Wake Forest’s Doug Manchester.

Freshman Florian Fritsch (Wiesloch, Germany) joined Johansen under par, firing a one-under 70 to open the tournament. Fritsch’s effort was good for a tie for sixth place. Sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) and freshman Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) turned in impressive rounds as well, posting even par 71s. The round set a new season low for Anderson, while Koon matched his best round of the year. Both golfers are tied for 13th individually.

Redshirt freshman Patrick Cunning (Aiken, S.C.) shot a 76 and is tied for 51st heading into Monday’s second round.

South Carolina and Wake Forest are the only two teams to finish the first round below par. The Gamecocks are nine strokes ahead of third-place North Carolina (288, +4). Other SEC teams in the field include Kentucky in fifth, Auburn in a tie for ninth, Vanderbilt in a tie for 11th, Alabama in 14th and LSU in 15th. Clemson and College of Charleston are locked in a three-way tie, along with Florida State, for sixth.

The Hootie at Bulls Bay continues with 18 holes on Monday and wraps up with the final round of play on Tuesday. Scoring updates are available online at

South Carolina Individuals, First RoundT1  Eirik Johansen    67 (-4)T6  Florian Fritsch 70 (-1)T13  Mark Anderson 71 (E)T13 Allen Koon    71 (E)T51  Patrick Cunning 76 (+5)
Team: 275 (-5)
Team Standings (Through First Round)1 Wake Forest 275 (-9)2 South Carolina 279 (-5)3 North Carolina 288 (+4)4 UCF 289 (+5)5 Kentucky 292 (+8)T6 Clemson 293 (+9)T6 College of Charleston 293 (+9)T6 Florida State 293 (+9)T9 Auburn 296 (+12)T9 Augusta State 296 (+12)T11 Virginia 297 (+13)T11 Vanderbilt 297 (+13)13 NC State 298 (+14)14 Alabama 299 (+15)15 LSU 300 (+16)