May 28, 2007
2007 NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP
May 30-June 2, 2007 â€¢ Williamsburg, Va.
Golden Horseshoe Golf Club
The Gold Course â€¢ Par 71 – 6,817 Yards
South Carolina will look the carry the momentum from its NCAA West Regional title to the NCAA Championship, May 30-June 2, in Williamsburg, Va. The 72-hole stroke-play event begins on Wednesday, May 30, at the Golden Horseshoe Gold Club’s Gold Course. The 30-team field will be cut in half after three rounds and the fourth and final round will be played on Saturday, June 2. This the 110th annual NCAA Men’s Golf Championship and is hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. The top 10 teams from each of three Regionals and the top two individuals not on those teams advanced to the championship final. The Gamecocks are the No. 16 seed. Following practice rounds on Monday and Tuesday, South Carolina will tee off in the opening round at 7 a.m. Wednesday. Live scoring will be available throughout the tournament online at www.golfstat.com or by following the links from South Carolina’s official athletics web site at USCsports.com.
A complete tournament pass ($30) is available, or tickets can be purchased for each individual round ($10 each for rounds one, two and three, $12 for the final round). Tickets can be purchased online at VCUAthletics.com or by calling 804-828-7267.
A QUICK LOOK AT THE GAMECOCKS
South Carolina’s five-man lineup will feature freshman George Bryan IV, sophomore Florian Fritsch, junior Warren Thomas, junior Mark Anderson and sophomore Mark Silvers. The Gamecocks are listed at No. 31 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index (May 20) and are No. 30 in the most recent Golf Stat rankings (May 23). In addition to its NCAA West Regional Championship, Carolina has posted three top-four finishes this season and played the nation’s No. 6 schedule, according to Golfweek.
NOTING THE SOUTH CAROLINA LINEUP
>> A two-time SEC Golfer of the Week George Bryan IV is the only Gamecock to compete in all 11 varsity events this season. The freshman owns a 73.06 stroke average and a pair of top-five finishes to lead the team. He led Carolina by tying for 10th at the NCAA West Regional and his total score of 68-67-69=204 (-12) tied for the fourth-lowest in school history. Bryan shared second place at the Augusta State Invitational with a three-day score of 210 at Champions Retreat and also set a course record with an opening round 66. Bryan has five top-20 finishes this season and is ranked No. 80 this week by Golfweek (May 20).
>> Sophomore Florian Fritsch, who earned all-SEC honors in 2006, has the team’s second-best stroke average at 73.60. After posting four top-20 finishes as a freshman, Fritsch 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. Fritsch tied for 16th, along with Mark Anderson and Warren Thomas, to lead the Carolina at the SEC Championship. He shared 18th place at the NCAA West Regional with a three-round total of 68-67-71=206 (-10), which tied for seventh in school history.
>> Junior Mark Anderson, an All-American and SEC Freshman of the Year in 2005, is in the lineup for the ninth time this season has played his best golf of the season in Carolina’s last two events.. He turned in his best finish of the season at the SEC Championship, sharing 16th place, with Warren Thomas and Florian Fritsch, to lead the Gamecocks. In last week’s NCAA West Regional, he tied for 18th with at three-day total score of 68-68-70=206 (-10), which ties for seventh in school history. Anderson owns a 74.30 stroke average on the season.
>> Junior Warren Thomas posted his best finish of the season, a tie for 11th, at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate. He followed that performance by tying for 16th, along with Mark Anderson and Florian Frtisch, to lead Carolina at the SEC Championship. In nine events, Thomas’ stroke average is 74.07, good for third on the team. He recorded his best three-round total (211) and tied for 43rd place at the NCAA West Regional. Thomas also fired his season-low round of 67 on the second day at Regionals.
>> Sophomore Mark Silvers returned to the varsity lineup for the first time since late March, when he tied for 36th in the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, and fired a three-round total of 211 (-5) to tie for 43rd at last week’s NCAA West Regional. Silvers posted a pair of 69s, his season-low round, to help the Gamecocks win the title. Silvers owns a 73.44 stroke average this season an has played in eight varsity events over the last two seasons.
Seven of the eight Southeastern Conference teams that received an NCAA Regional bid moved on to the finals. The SEC has more participants in the golf championship than any other league. The ACC and Pac-10 are represented by five schools
LAST TIME OUT >> THE NCAA WEST REGIONAL, MAY 17-19
Behind a record-breaking performance, the South Carolina men’s golf team claimed a two-stroke victory over second-place UCLA to win the 2007 NCAA West Regional at Karsten Golf Course (Par 72, 7,057 yards) in Tempe, Ariz. The Gamecocks recorded a three-round total score of 820 to finish 44 strokes under par and set a course and school record.
South Carolina entered the final round one stroke behind regional leader and No. 4 UCLA. The Gamecocks shot 10-under par (278) as a team in the final round to beat the Bruins, who were seven under (281). No. 10 Southern California and No. 18 Arizona State, the regional host, shared third place with a final score of 824 (-40). Fellow Southeastern Conference team Vanderbilt caught fire on Saturday, finishing the third round at 21 under to surge into fifth place.
The Gamecocks, who came into the tournament as the No. 11 seed, held a slight lead on UCLA for most of the day, but freshman George Bryan IV’s strong finish secured the win. The last player on the course for South Carolina, Bryan eagled No. 17 and a sunk a 40-foot putt for birdie on No. 18. The Chapin, S.C, product tied for 10th individually with a three-day total of 68-67-69=204 (-12). The 204 ranks tied for third in school history for a three-round individual score and is the best individual performance ever by a Gamecock in regional play. Bryan’s finish is the best by a Carolina golfer in regional play since Kyle Thompson won the 2001 NCAA West Regional in Corvalis, Ore.
Sophomore Florian Fritsch and junior Mark Anderson tied for 18th on the individual leader board after posting a three-day total of 206 (-10), which tied for seventh-best three-round effort in school history. Anderson closed with a 70 (-2) on the final 18 holes while Fritsch carded a 71 (-1) Saturday.
Sophomore Mark Silvers fired a final round 69 and junior Warren Thomas posted a 70 on the final 18 holes. Silvers and Thomas both tied for 43rd with a three-day total score of 211 (-5).
As a team, South Carolina opened with a round of 273 on Thursday before shooting 269 on Friday. Those scores represent the two lowest rounds in school history while Saturday’s 278 ranks fourth. The total score of 820 shattered the previous record of 845, set in the 1997 Palmetto Classic. The team victory is the first for South Carolina since capturing the title at the 2005 Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate (Oct. 15-16). In 2007, the Gamecocks’ previous best performance was fourth place on three occasions.
The golf team achieved the highest grade point average of any men’s team in the athletic department for the fifth consecutive semester this spring. The team posted a combined GPA of 3.541. Men’s Golf was one of 13 Gamecock teams to eclipse the 3.0 mark as the 463 South Carolina student-athletes combined for a record 3.076 GPA.
GAMECOCKS NAMED GOLFWEEK TEAM OF THE WEEK
South Carolina has been selected Golfweek’s Men’s Team of the Week. The Gamecocks collected the honor based on their impressive performance and team victory at the NCAA West Regional over the weekend in Tempe, Ariz. Despite entering the regional as the No. 11 seed and ranked No. 33 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Carolina shot 44 strokes under par to claim a two-shot win over second-place UCLA. Carolina’s three-day total score of 820 set both a school and course record.
During its victory at the NCAA West Regional, South Carolina set a number of records. >> The Gamecocks’ three-day total of 820 set a ASU Karsten Course record. It also shattered the previous school mark of 845 set at the Palmetto Classic. >> Freshman George Bryan IV’s three-round total of 204 tied for the fourth-lowest in school history. >> Junior Mark Anderson and sophomore Florian Fritsch both fired a three-day score of 206, which tied for the seventh-lowest total in school history.
THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
The top 10 teams in each of three regionals, as well as the top two individuals not on those teams, advanced to the NCAA Championship. In the West Regional played at Arizona State’s Karsten Course, team champion South Carolina was joined by UCLA, Arizona State, Southern California, Vanderbilt, Arizona, Stanford, New Mexico, Wake Forest and East Tennessee State in the top 10. Team champion Georgia, along with Florida, Auburn, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Duke, Charlotte, North Carolina, Georgia State and Charlotte advanced out of the NCAA East Regional, played at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta. In the Central Regional, played at Richard Harvest Farms Golf Course in Sugar Grove, Ill. , Tulsa took home the team title and was joined by Alabama, Louisville, Lamar, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Michigan State, Texas and Minnesota in the top 10.
>> Since the inception of the NCAA Regional format in 1989, South Carolina has advanced to the finals 11 times. After a two-year hiatus in 2004 and 2005, the Gamecocks have moved on to the NCAA Championship in each of the last two years.
>> In 2006, the Gamecocks were the No. 27 seed in the NCAA Championship, played in Sunriver, Ore. Carolina did not make the 15-team cut after three rounds and tied for 22nd.
>> Juniors Mark Anderson and Warren Thomas and sophomore Florian Fritsch were all three in the Gamecock lineup at NCAAs in 2006. Fritsch posted a three-round total of 216, Anderson shot 227 and Thomas finished at 231.
>> South Carolina will look to make the cut for the first time since 1998 when it tied for 11th at the NCAA Championship in Albuquerque, N.M.
>> At the 1998 NCAA Championship, South Carolina associate head coach Bill McDonald, competing for Georgia Tech, tied for second individually. As a team the Yellow Jackets were seventh.
>> McDonald also played in the 1985, 1986 and 1987 Championship at Georgia Tech.
>> The Gamecocks’ best team finish at the NCAA Championship came in 1988 when they tied for eighth in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
GBIV EARNS BACK-TO-BACK SEC GOLFER OF THE WEEK HONORS
George Bryan IV (Chapin, S.C.) earned the Southeastern Conference Male Golfer of the Week in consecutive weeks on March 28 and April 4. Bryan was honored March 28 after tying for 11th at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate in Awendaw, S.C. In South Carolina’s next event, the Augusta State Invitational, he collected his second top-five finish of the season and set a new course record in the process on his way to winning the award again. Bryan tied for second individually, a career best, to lead the Gamecocks to a fourth-place showing at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational. In the first round, he carded a six-under par 66, to set a new Champions Retreat course record. He followed up with a pair rounds at even par (72) to bring his three-day total to 210 (-6). That effort puts him in the South Carolina record book, tying for the 10th-best individual score in a three-round tournament. His opening round 66 matched the fourth-lowest round in school history, shared by 13 USC golfers. The score was a career low for Bryan and led to his third top-20 of the season. Bryan is the second South Carolina golfer to win the SEC’s weekly award two times in one season. Current junior Mark Anderson earned the award in back-to-back weeks during his freshman season in 2005.
GAMECOCKS BOAST BEVY OF IN-STATE TALENT
South Carolina’s 12-man roster features eight players from the state of South Carolina. That group includes sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort/Beaufort Academy) and Warren Thomas (Columbia/Richland Northeast), redshirt sophomore Patrick Cunning (Aiken/South Aiken) and sophomores Baker Elmore (Cheraw) and Allen Koon (Bamberg/Bamberg-Ehrhardt) and true freshmen George Bryan IV (Chapin/Dutch Fork), Patrick Rada (Anderson/T.L. Hanna) and Paul Woodbury (Lake City).
MCDONALD JOINS GAMECOCK GOLF STAFF
Bill McDonald, a highly successful collegiate golfer, former tour professional and accomplished instructor, joined the South Carolina men’s golf staff as associate head coach in August, 2006. McDonald played collegiately for Blackmon at Georgia Tech (1985-88) where he was the runner-up at the 1988 NCAA Championship and a two-time All-American (1985 and 1988). He earned his bachelor of science degree in industrial management from Tech in 1989 and after competing professionally for the next five years in South Africa, Canada and several PGA Tour and Nationwide Tour events, McDonald returned to his alma mater to serve as an assistant coach to Blackmon in 1994-95. McDonald returns to Columbia for a second time after serving as the Director of Instruction at the University Club from 1996-1998.
ANDERSON NAMED TO SEC COMMUNITY SERVICE TEAM
Junior Mark Anderson was named to the 2007 SEC Men’s Golf Community Service Team. The SEC sponsors Community Service Teams in all 20 sports, looking to highlight athletes from around the conference who give back to their community in superior service efforts. Anderson volunteers with the Edventure Children’s Museum, Columbia Animal Preservation Society Annual Banquet & Auction, and Junior Golf Clinic (for golf & academic tutoring). He is a Midlands Golfing for God coordinator and volunteers at Logan Elementary School. In addition to his community service involvement, the junior from Beaufort, S.C. was on the Dean’s List during Fall 2004, 2005, 2006, and Spring 2006. He was also on the 2006 SEC Academic Honor Roll, and earned SEC Freshman of the Year honors in 2005. Anderson was also selected a 2005 Golf Coaches Association of American third-team All-American, was on the 2005 GCAA All-Freshman Team and a two-time SEC Golfer of the Week in 2005.