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Oct. 29, 2007

GREENSBORO, Ga. – After knocking off second-seeded Alabama, No. 10 seed South Carolina fell to third seed Georgia Tech 3-2 in the semifinals of the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship at Reynolds Plantation Monday afternoon. The Gamecocks upset Southeastern Conference rival Alabama 4-1 in the semifinals following their 3-1-1 dispatching of No. 7 seed Florida State in the first round. The Gamecocks play No. 9 seed Florida in the third-place match on Tuesday.

Against the Crimson Tide, sophomore George Bryan IV (Chapin, S.C./Dutch Fork) picked up his first win of the event, knocking off Mark Harrell 3 and 1 in the team’s top spot. Bryan never trailed in the match and opened up the lead for good on the eighth hole. He won the next two holes as well and held off Harrell down the stretch. In the second position, Patrick Rada (Anderson, S.C./T.L. Hanna) won the first hole of his match against Matt Hughes and never looked back, claiming a 3 and 2 victory.

Paul Woodbury (Lake City, S.C./Lake City) won his second match at No. 4 with a 3 and 2 victory over Gator Todd. Losing just one hole of the 16 the duo played, Woodbury won No. 5 to go ahead and built his lead to three two holes later. Florian Fritsch also picked up his second win of the event, rallying past Ben Moody 2 up. After trailing early, Fritsch got back to all square on No. 10 and staked his first lead two holes later on No. 12. Moody evened things up on the 13th before Fritsch won back-to-back holes. Moody’s four on 18 forced the duo to settle the match on the first hole, which Fritsch won. Senior Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C./Beaufort Academy) took the team’s lone loss of the round, falling to Joseph Sykora 2 and 1 at the No. 3 position.

In the semifinal, the Gamecocks jumped out to quick leads in four of the five matches and took all four down to the final hole. Only Chesson Hadley, rated the No. 2 player in the country, got in front for the Yellow Jackets. He went on to beat Bryan 8 and 6. Three holes into the match, Rada had Georgia Tech’s Taylor Hall down two but saw him win the next two holes to get all square. The match stayed even for three more holes before Rada’s triple bogey on No. 5 put Hall in front. Trailing by three with four holes left, Rada narrowed the lead back to one with two holes remaining, but could not slip past Hall down the stretch.

Anderson evened his afternoon with a win at No. 3, topping Cameron Tringale 1 up. Anderson led early before falling behind by two strokes as late as the 14th hole of the match. He finally beat Tringale on No. 12 to get within one and squared the match on No. 14 with one hole to play, which Anderson claimed with a par on the par-3 15th.

In the No. 4 spot, Woodbury suffered his first loss of the tournament, falling to Paul Haley 2 up. Woodbury won two of the first three holes before Haley birdied No. 2 to take a one-hole lead. Woodbury picked up a birdie on the par-3 13th to even the match, but a bogey on 14 gave Haley a lead he would not relinquish on the final hole.

Fritsch continued his hot streak in match play with his third victory, holding off JT Griffin 2 up. In the most closely contested match, the players were all square after eight holes and neither player led by more than one until Fritsch’s clinching win on No. 16.

Florida advanced to the third-place match by virtue of a 4-0-1 win over eight-seed Duke in the first round and a narrow 3-2 victory over 16-seed Coastal Carolina in round two. The Gators fell to UCLA 3-1-1 in the semifinal to set up the SEC showdown with South Carolina. UCLA and Georgia Tech will square off in the title match.

(10) South Carolina def. (2) Alabama 4-1
George Bryan IV (SC) def. Mark Harrell, 3 and 1
Patrick Rada (SC) def. Matt Hughes, 3 and 2
Joseph Sykora (ALA) def. Mark Anderson, 2 and 1
Paul Woodbury (SC) def. Gator Todd, 3 and 2
Florian Fritsch (SC) def. Ben Moody, 2 up

(3) Georgia Tech def. (10) South Carolina, 3-2
Chesson Hadley (GT) def. George Bryan IV, 8 and 6
Taylor Hall (GT) def. Patrick Rada, 1 up
Mark Anderson (SC) def. Cameron Tringale, 1 up
Paul Haley (GT) def. Paul Woodbury, 2 up
Florian Fritsch (SC) def. JT Griffin, 2 up