April 19, 2007
South Carolina joins the other 11 league teams for the 2007 Southeastern Conference Championship this week at the Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course (Par 71 – 7,005 yards) in St. Simons, Ga. Following a practice round on Thursday, April 19, the tournament tees off on Friday, April 20 and runs through Sunday, April 22. One round of golf will be played on each day. The Gamecocks will tee off at 8:50 a.m. Friday and are scheduled to play with Alabama and Kentucky.
Live scoring can be found online throughout the tournament at www.golfstat.com or by following the links from the South Carolina’s official athletics web site, USCsports.com. Visit the men’s golf championship page at SECsports.com for all of the latest information.
NOTING THE SOUTH CAROLINA LINEUP
>> Two-time SEC Golfer of the Week George Bryan IV is the only Gamecock to compete in all nine varsity events this season. The freshman owns a 73.31 stroke average and a pair of top-five finishes to lead the team, including tying for second at the Augusta State Invitational with a three-day score of 210. Bryan, who boasts four top-20 finishes this season, is ranked No. 70 this week by Golfweek.
>> Sophomore Florian Fritsch, who earned all-SEC honors in 2006, has the team’s second-best stroke average at 74.21. After posting four top-20 finishes as a freshman, Fritsch has recorded his best performances of the season in back-to-back weeks, tying for 12th at the Augusta State Invitational his best three-round total of the season (215) and sharing seventh place at the Kepler Intercollegiate.
>> Junior Warren Thomas is coming off his best finish of the season, a tie for 11th at the Kepler Intercollegiate. In seven events, Thomas’ stroke average is 74.70. He recorded his best three-round total (218) at Augusta State.
>> Sophomore Allen Koon sports a 75.05 stroke average. He has competed in seven tournaments this season. His season and career best finish came at the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational when his placed in a tie for 19th.
>> Junior Mark Anderson, a 2005 All-American, is in the lineup for the seventh time this season. Anderson owns a 75.41 stroke average and his best showing of the season is a tie for 35th at the Isleworth-UCF Invitational in the fall.
THE SEC FIELD
All 12 Southeastern Conference schools field a men’s golf team and will be competing this weekend at Sea Island. Four league teams are ranked in the top 25 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, including three in the top five. Georgia is No. 1, Alabama is No. 2 and Florida comes in at No. 5. Tennessee is ranked No. 17 and four additional conference teams are among the top 50. Auburn is No. 30, South Carolina is ranked 34th, Vanderbilt is No. 46 and Ole Miss ranks 50th. Nineteen individuals on SEC teams are ranked in Golfweek’s top 100 and eight appear in the top 50.
SEC TOURNAMENT EXPERIENCE
South Carolina’s SEC lineup features four golfers who have competed in the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club at least once. Junior Mark Anderson has played in each of the last two SEC Tournaments while junior Warren Thomas (2005) and sophomores Allen Koon and Florian Fritsch (2006) have seen action in one SEC championship. Freshman George Bryan IV is the only Gamecock who is new to the SEC Tournament.
Associate head coach Bill McDonald:
“We are really looking forward to the SEC Championship this week at Sea Island. The Seaside course is one of my favorites and I know it will be in great shape as always. The guys have thawed out after last week’s frigid conditions at Ohio State, and everyone knows that we can cap off a solid spring season by playing well this week. We have an experienced group in place and all signs indicate that we are peaking at the right time. There is nothing quite like playing for your conference championship. It should be a fun and exciting week.”
BRYAN MAKING AN IMPACT
George Bryan IV has wasted little time making an impact for the Gamecocks. The only golfer to compete in all nine varsity events this season, Bryan also owns the best stroke average at 73.31 of anyone on the team. He has a pair of top-five finishes to his credit and four top-20 showings to his credit. Six of Bryan’s last eight rounds have been at even par or under.
GOING UP AGAINST THE BEST
The Gamecocks traditionally participate in some of the nation’s toughest tournaments and the 2006-07 schedule fits the bill. According to the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index (April 16), South Carolina’s schedule ranks No. 14 nationally.
The golf team achieved the highest grade point average of any men’s team in the athletic department for the fourth consecutive semester by posting a 3.543 mark for the Fall 2006 semester.
Competition for spots in the tournament lineup has been tough. Ten of the 12 players on the roster have played in at least one varsity tournament this season. George Bryan IV is the only Gamecock to compete in all nine