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March 13, 2008

COLUMBIA – South Carolina men’s golf returns to action on Friday at the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. Hosted by Georgia Southern, the 18-team event features seven top-25 teams, including the 16th-ranked Gamecocks, with top-ranked Alabama headlining the group.

“The Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational is a great event with so much tradition,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “I know that our players are looking forward to the hospitality and the competition. We have had a great two weeks of practice and preparation since our last event, and I look for us to play at a high level this weekend.”

At the top of McDonald’s lineup sheet for the event are the team’s top two scorers in senior Mark Anderson and George Bryan IV. Anderson was the team leader in the spring’s first event, finishing ninth at the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational. He is currently 11th in the SEC with a season average of 72.08 over 12 rounds.

Bryan is the team’s second-best scorer this season with a 72.80 average. He opened the season with a third-place showing at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in the fall but has turned in just one other top-20 finish – 18th at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate. Bryan will look to improve on last year’s 27th place at this event.

Senior Warren Thomas will join the top two for the second-straight event this spring. He finished 16th at the John Hayt Invitational a few weeks ago, the second-best scorer on the team at the event. This will be just his third event of the season, during which he has a 75.33 average.

Juniors Mark Silvers III and Patrick Cunning round out the team for the Gamecocks. Each has played in three tournaments this season. Silvers opened the John Hayt Invitational well but battled in the final round to finish 59th, which dropped his season average to 74.89. Cunning is making his spring debut this weekend but posted a 73.44 average in the fall.

The other ranked teams lining up for the 9 a.m. start on Friday are No. 9 Tennessee, No. 10 Florida, No. 11 Auburn, No. 15 Michigan State and No. 23 North Carolina. Saturday’s round will also begin at 9 a.m. with Sunday’s start time moved up to 8 a.m.