May 17, 2006
NCAA EAST REGIONAL
May 18-20, 2006 â€¢ Orlando, Fla.
Lake Nona Golf & Country Club
Par 72 – 7,215 Yards
The University of South Carolina men’s golf team will compete in the NCAA East Regional, Thursday through Saturday, May 18-20, in Orlando, Fla. The three-round 54-hole event, hosted by the University of Central Florida and the Central Florida Sports Commission, will be played at Lake Nona Golf and Country Club, a par-72, 7,215-yard layout.
Following a practice round on Wednesday, No. 13-seed South Carolina tees off at 1:05 p.m. ET on Thursday and will play with No. 14-seed Florida State and No. 15-seed Indiana. The trio will also play together on Friday, beginning at 8:35 a.m. from the No. 10 tee.
Each of the three regionals consists of 27 teams and six individuals. The low 10 teams and the low two individuals not on those teams will advance to play in the NCAA Championship, May 31-June 3 in Sunriver, Ore., at Crosswater Golf Club. The University of Portland is the host institution. The Gamecocks will be looking for their first trip to the Championship since the 2003 season.
HOW TO GET RESULTS
Live scoring during the tournament will be available online at www.golfstatresults.com. A link to the updates can be found on uscsports.com in the weekly calendar on the right-hand side of the main page. At the end of each day, a recap and complete list of results will be also be posted on uscsports.com and sent out to the media.
Head coach Puggy Blackmon’s NCAA East Regional lineup will include one senior, two sophomores and two true freshmen. Senior capitan Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) and sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) have played in all 11 events for USC this season. Freshmen Florian Fritsch (Wiesloch, Germany) and Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) have competed in 10 and eight events, respectively. After a strong individual performance at the Linger Longer Invitational earlier this week, sophomore Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) joins the lineup.
Player, Tourneys, Rounds, Stroke Avg., Low Rd.1. Eirik Johansen, 11, 33, 72.64, 672. Florian Fritsch, 10, 30, 73.30, 673. Mark Anderson, 11, 33, 75.18, 704. Allen Koon, 8, 24, 75.96, 715. Warren Thomas,3, 9, 76.22, 72
THE EAST REGIONAL FIELD
A total 27 teams are set to play in the NCAA East Regional. South Carolina has competed against 14 of those teams at least once during the regular season, including seeds one through 12, 14 and 17. No. 1-seed and defending national champion Georgia, No. 11-seed Auburn and No. 12-seed Tennessee represent the SEC in the field.
Head-to-head, the Gamecocks own an 18-19 record against teams from the East Regional field.
CAROLINA EARNS 11TH-STRAIGHT NCAA REGIONAL BID
The Gamecocks are making their 11th-straight trip to NCAA Regionals under head coach Puggy Blackmon. Carolina has advanced to the NCAA Championship 12 times, six (1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2003) of those under Blackmon. In the Gamecocks’ last trip to the Championship, they finished 29th in 2003.
USC came up just shy of advancing to the 2005 NCAA Championship after finishing tied for 10th place, but falling in a playoff, in the West Regional in Stanford, Calif.
MODEL OF CONSISTENCY
Senior Eirik Johansen’s high level of play during his South Carolina career has led him to accomplish an impressive feat. Enter this weeken’d East Regional, the Stavanger, Norway, native has competed in all 48 tournaments the Gamecocks have entered during his career. He boasts 20 top-10 finishes and has placed in the top-20 in 28 career events. Johansen’s experience is especially important to a young Gamecock lineup.
SEVEN SEC TEAMS 2006 NCAA REGIONAL FIELD
Seven Southeastern Conference teams were selected into the three NCAA Regionals. In the East, the SEC will be represented by defending national champion and No. 1 seed Georgia, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Tennessee and No. 13 South Carolina. No. 4 seed Kentucky will compete in the Central Regional in Cleveland, Ohio, while No. 1 seed Florida and No. 6 Alabama will travel to Tucson, Ariz., for the West Regional.
In addition, Vanderbilt’s Luke List (East) and Matt Bortis (Central) will compete as inviduals.
GAMECOCKS IN THE RANKINGS
South Carolina is receiving votes in the latest GCAA Bridgestone Coaches Poll (April 27) and ranks No. 42 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings (May 8). Senior captain Eirik Johansen is No. 49 and freshman Florian Fritsch is No. 57, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Individual Ratings.
JOHANSEN, FRITSCH NAMED TO ALL-SEC TEAM
Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) and Florian Fritsch (Wiesloch, Germany) were selected to the 2006 all-Southeastern Conference Golf Teams. Johansen, a senior, made the all-SEC first team for the third time in his career while Fritsch has been named to the second team in his freshman season at South Carolina.
After earning first-team honors as both a freshman and sophomore, Johansen received the nod again as a senior. He becomes the third USC golfer to collect first-team All-SEC honors in three seasons, joining David Seawell (1994, 1995, 1996) and Kyle Thompson (1998, 1999, 2001). Johansen’s play has led the Gamecocks throughout the season as he owns five top-10 finishes and has been Carolina’s top finisher six times. The team captain sports a 72.73 stroke average, the best of any Gamecock this season and No. 10 among SEC golfers. He has 19 top-10 performances during his career.
Fritsch owns Carolina’s second-best stroke average and No. 14 among SEC golfers at 72.89. The rookie has three top-10 finishes and four top-20 showings this season. Fritsch has been the Gamecocks’ best finisher in four events, including a second-place effort at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate as Carolina captured the team title. He is one of four freshmen to make the all-conference teams.
South Carolina has had at least one player on the All-SEC team in every season since joining the league in 1992. Gamecocks have collected a total of 21 all-conference honors during that span.
2005 NCAA WEST REGIONAL RECAP
The South Carolina men’s golf team tied for 10th-place at the NCAA West Regional, along with Southern California and Pepperdine, but fell on the first hole of a playoff at Stanford Golf Course and failed to advance to the NCAA Championship.
Carolina turned in its best round of the weekend by shooting a 287 on the final 18 holes. Along with Southern Cal and Pepperdine, the Gamecocks finished 24-over par with a total score of 864. The top 10 teams from each of three Regionals and the top two individuals not on those teams moved on to compete in the NCAA Championship. The Trojans defeated Carolina and Pepperdine in the team playoff to clinch the 10th team spot.
Senior Alex Hamilton fired a 68, the best round of any Gamecock, and finished tied for 12th. Hamilton lost a one-hole playoff to eventual NCAA Championship medalist Michael Putnam of Pepperdine for the second invidual spot. Oregon’s Gregg Lavoie, who finished tied for 10th individually, earned the first individual spot for NCAAs. Hamilton was two-over in his final collegiate tournament with scores of 74-70-68=212.
South Carolina Individuals
Alex Hamilton, 74-70-68=212 (+2)
Mark Anderson, 72-72-73=217 (+7)
Eirik Johansen, 70-74-73=217 (+7)
West Streib, 73-78-73=224 (+14)
Robert Svensson, 80-72-77=229 (+19)