Sept. 16, 2007
ROCKY FACE, Ga. – South Carolina men’s golf opened its season facing its toughest competition at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and came out tied for first place at The Farm Golf Club. Tied with fellow Southeastern Conference member Alabama with a three-round team total of 869 (+5), the No. 20 Gamecocks yielded the team title to the No. 2 Crimson Tide on the first playoff hole. South Carolina got solid, steady play out of its top three, led by sophomore George Bryan IV, who carded a 212 (-4) to finish tied for third.
The Gamecocks led from the first round, facing down 10 other nationally-ranked teams, including three of the country’s top five programs. South Carolina entered the final round with a five-stroke lead over Auburn, but saw Alabama make a furious charge with a tournament-best 282 (-6) in the final round to move into a tie for the lead.
Bryan was steady in third throughout the tournament, carding rounds of 71, 70 and 71. He twice eagled the 12th hole in the second and third rounds, and posted just two bogeys over the first two rounds. The final round got off to a rocky start for Bryan, however, as he carded bogeys on two of the first three holes. A birdie on the par-5 ninth put him at +2 on the front nine. His eagle on the 12th and two birdies in the final four holes put him back under par for the round and preserved his third-place finish.
Junior Allen Koon held his ground in the top 20, finishing tied for 18th place with a three-round total of 218 (+2). Opening with a 71 in the rain-soaked first round, Koon entered the final day of play in seventh. Sitting at -1 through 12, Koon battled through three bogeys in the final six holes, however, to finish at 74 on the day.
Steady scores of 75-73-73 held junior Patrick Cunning in 28th place in the final standings, exactly where he began the final round, with a tournament total of 221 (+5). Junior Mark Silvers moved up 15 spots with a final-round 71 to claim a share of 40th place. Silvers shook off an opening-round 80 to score 72 and 71 in the final two rounds. Florian Fritsch rounded out the Gamecock club in 73rd place with a 232 (+16). He sandwiched an 80 in the second round between a 75 and a 77.
South Carolina and Alabama finished the event one stroke ahead of host Georgia Tech. Like the Crimson Tide, the eighth-ranked Yellow Jackets made a final-round surge with a 284 but fell just short of the top spot on the leaderboard. Tech’s Chesson Hadley picked up individual medalist honors, shooting eight-under 208 (65-69-74), holding off Alabama’s Michael Thompson by three strokes.
The Gamecocks take three weeks off to prepare for their next tournament, heading back to the state of Georgia for The Brickyard Collegiate at the Brickyard Golf Club in Macon, Ga., Oct. 7-9.
FINAL TEAM SCORES
T 1. Alabama 292-295-282=869 (+5)
T 1. South Carolina 292-288-289=869 (+5)
3. Georgia Tech 296-290-284=870 (+6)
4. Auburn 298-287-290=875 (+11)
5. Duke 296-293-291=880 (+16)
6. Georgia 295-297-290=882 (+18)
T 7. Tennessee 292-300-291=883 (+19)
T 7. Wake Forest 293-296-294=883 (+19)
T 9. Tenn.-Chattanooga 299-294-293=886 (+22)
T 9. Texas Tech 303-292-291=886 (+22)
11. East Tennessee St. 291-308-289=888 (+24)
12. Florida 300-306-287=893 (+29)
13. Clemson 303-291-303=897 (+33)
T 14. Augusta State 291-303-304=898 (+34)
T 14. TCU 299-304-295=898 (+34)
16. Georgia State 301-300-299=900 (+36)
17. Vanderbilt 305-307-289=901 (+37)
18. North Carolina State 303-298-301=902 (+38)