Skip to main content
Partner logo
Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Mobile Icon Link Gamecocks+

May 20, 2006


The South Carolina men’s golf team punched its ticket to the 2006 NCAA Championship on Saturday with a stellar final-round performance at the NCAA East Regional in Orlando, Fla. The Gamecocks navigated the course at Lake Nona Golf Club (Par 72 — 7,129 Yards) with a four-under par 284, the second-best round of any team today, and finished ninth to advance on to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2003.

“This was the round we’d been looking for all year,” head coach Puggy Blackmon said. “We started the day on the back nine holes, which is the tougher part of the golf course. Everyone got off to a great start and as the day went on, they did what they had to do. It’s an accomplishment to finish ninth after coming in as the No. 13 seed, in what I think was by far the toughest regional. We’re excited to be going to the Championship, especially after the way we started.”

Today’s team score of 284 was 20 shots better than the Gamecocks’ opening-round 304 on Thursday. Only regional champion Wake Forest bettered Carolina in the final round with a 283. Carolina was in 19th-place through 18 holes before climbing to 12th at the end of the second round on Friday.

The top 10 teams from each of three regionals move on the NCAA Championship, set for May 31-June 3, at Crosswater Golf Club in Sunriver, Ore. The East Regional field featured 10 teams ranked among the nation’s top 25.

Senior captain Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) and freshman Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) led the Gamecock charge as both finished tied for 22nd on the individual leader board. Koon recorded his best round of the season by firing a three-under-par 69 Saturday. He overcame a tough opening round on Thursday to finish with a total score of 79-72-69=220. Senior captain and all-SEC first teamer Johansen continued his steady play and wrapped up the regional with a total score of 74-73-73=220.

Sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) posted his best round of the weekend with an even-par 72. Anderson finished in a tie for 36th with a total score of 74-76-72=222. Freshman Florian Fritsch secured his best round of the regional with a two-under-par 70 on the final 18 holes. Fritsch wound up with a total score of 77-75-70=222, which also gave him a share of 36th-place.

Sophomore Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) had a tough day, carding a final-round 81. Thomas concluded with a total score of 79-73-81=233 and tied for 110th.

Defending National Champion and 2006 SEC Champion Georgia finished second behind Wake Forest. Other teams advancing out of the East Regional and to the NCAA Championship included Texas Tech (3rd), North Carolina (4th), Coastal Carolina (T-5th), Charlotte (T-5th), UCLA (7th), Auburn (8th) and UNLV (10th). UCLA’s Kevin Chappell finished first individually with a five-under par 211.

The Gamecocks will be making their seventh appearance in the NCAA Championship under Blackmon.

SOUTH CAROLINA INDIVIDUAL SCOREST22nd   Eirik Johansen 74-73-73=220 (+4)T22nd   Allen Koon 79-72-69=220 (+4)T36th   Mark Anderson 74-76-72=222 (+6)T36th   Florian Fritsch 77-75-70=222 (+6)T110th  Warren Thomas 79-73-81=233 (+17)
TEAM TOTAL: 304-293-284=881 (+17)
NCAA East Regional • Final Team Standings1. Wake Forest 285-296-283--864 (E)2. Georgia 284-294-287--865 (+1)3. Texas Tech 289-293-291--873 (+9)4. North Carolina 294-291-289--874 (+10)5. Coastal Carolina 301-288-288--877 (+13)6. Charlotte 299-290-288--877 (+13)7. UCLA 292-300-286--878 (+14)8. Auburn 296-294-289--879 (+15)9. South Carolina 304-293-284--881 (+17)10.UNLV 287-293-304--884 (+20)(Top 10 Teams Advance to NCAA Championship)
T11. Georgia State 298-298-295--891 (+27)T11. Georgia Southern 295-307-289--891 (+27)T.11 Indiana 299-305-287--891 (+27)14. Florida State 302-308-283--893 (+29)T15. Southern California 298-294-303--895 (+31)T15. Jacksonville 297-305-293--895 (+31)17. Notre Dame 300-308-289--897 (+33)18. Tennessee 310-293-298--901 (+37)19. Rhode Island 288-313-306--907 (+43)T20. Maryland 305-312-298=915 (+51)T20. Western Illinois 298-315-302--915 (+51)22. Liberty 311-303-304--917 (+53)23. George Washington 307-307-308=922 (+58)24. Wichita State 311-315-297=923 (+59)25. Richmond 309-316-303=928 (+64)26. Binghamton 312-324-306=942 (+78)27. Army 314-326-317=957 (+93)