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May 19, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. – The South Carolina men’s golf team trimmed 11 strokes off its first-round total and surged into 12th-place Friday in the second round of the NCAA East Regional, played at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando. The Gamecocks counted a team score of 293, tied for the second-best team round of the day, and pushed their way into contention for a top-10 finish and a ticket to the NCAA Championship.

“Following a poor finish yesterday, the guys showed true grit today,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “Despite only hitting three greens on the final nine (holes), Allen Koon shot a 72. Warren Thomas and Florian Fritsch played the final nine under par as counters. Eirik Johansen continues to play steady. The round today was a momentum builder going into the final round, but we’ll have to play our best to make up a five-shot deficit and advance (to the NCAA Championship). This is a great experience for our young guys and I’m proud of their patience today.”

After starting the second-round in 19th-place, Carolina sits six strokes out of the top-10 heading into Saturday’s final 18 holes. The low 10 teams and two individuals not on those teams will earn a spot in the 2006 NCAA Championship, which begins on May 31 in Sunriver, Ore.

Senior captain and all-SEC first teamer Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) paces the Carolina contingent in a tie for 19th-place through the regional’s first 36 holes. Johansen added a one-over par 73 to Thursday’s first-round 74.

Freshman Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) was the Gamecocks’ biggest mover. After starting the day in a tie for 109th, Koon shot an even-par 72, seven strokes better than his opening round, and rose into a tie for 60th.

Sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) fired a 76 and rests in a tie for 50th entering the final round. Classmate Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) and freshman Florian Fritsch are locked in a tie for 71st. Thomas posted a one-over par 73 in the second round, while Fritsch shot 75.

Defending National Champion and 2006 SEC Champion Georgia shot a 294 Friday and remained at the top of the team leader board. The Bulldogs are two-over par and two strokes ahead of second-place UNLV. Wake Forest is five-over and holds down the third-place slot.

USC tees off on Saturday at 8:05 a.m. ET from the 10th hole. The Gamecocks will play alongside 11th-place Georgia State and UCLA, who is tied for ninth. Live scoring is available online at A direct link can be found at

T19th Eirik Johansen 74-73=147 (+3)
T50th Mark Anderson 74-76=150 (+6)
T60th Allen Koon 79-72=151 (+7)
T71st Warren Thomas 79-73=152 (+7)
T71st Florian Fritsch 77-75=152 (+7)
TEAM TOTAL: 304-293=597 (+21)
NCAA East Regional • Through Second RoundTeam Scores 1) Georgia 578 (284-294) 2) UNLV 580 (287-293) 3) Wake Forest 581 (285-296) 4) Texas Tech 582 (289-293) 5) North Carolina 585 (294-291) T6) Coastal Carolina 589 (301-288) T6) Charlotte 589 (299-290) 8) Auburn 590 (296-294) T9) UCLA 592 (292-300) T9) USC 592 (298-294) 11) Georgia State 596 (298-298) 12) South Carolina 597 (304-293) 13) Rhode Island 601 (288-313) T14) Georgia Southern 602 (295-307) T14) Jacksonville 602 (297-305) 16) Tennessee 603 (310-293)17) Indiana 604 (299-305) 18) Notre Dame 606 (300-306) 19) Florida State 610 (302-308) 20) Western Illinois 613 (298-315) T21) George Washington 614 (307-307) T21) Liberty 614 (311-303) 23) Maryland 621 (305-316) 24) Richmond 625 (309-316) 25) Wichita State 626 (311-315) 26) Binghamton 636 (312-324) 27) Army 640 (314-326)