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March 14, 2008

STATESBORO, Ga. – South Carolina men’s golf holds a share of third place after the first round of the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club. Led by the tournament’s co-individual leader, senior Mark Anderson, the 16th-ranked Gamecocks turned in a total of 286 (-2) to match UAB’s score and sit just four strokes behind tournament leader Tennessee.

Sharing the individual lead with UAB’s Zach Sucher, Anderson shot a season-low 68 (-4). He started the round well with a birdie on the par-4 first but gave the stroke back on the second hole. Playing the par-5 seventh win two strokes set up back-to-back birdies on eight and nine. After a small hiccup with a double-bogey to open the back nine, Anderson was back on track with a birdie on the par-4 11th and played the rest of the round event.

Junior Patrick Cunning is also among the first-round top 10 with a 70 (-2) on his first turn around the course. In his first event of the spring, Cunning carded five birdies, including three in the last five holes, to close the day in a tie for seventh place.

Sophomore George Bryan IV battled early in the round, making the turn at +2 after a double-bogey on the par-4 second and a bogey on No. 3, a par 3. The young veteran was steadier on the back nine, adding a birdie on the par-4 16th to finish at 73 (+1) and hold 23rd place.

Juniors Mark Silvers III and Warren Thomas share 49th place after turning in matching rounds of 75 (+3). Silvers posted a birdie among four bogeys, while Thomas fell behind early before rallying with birdies on 14 and 18.

The team standings are dominated by the SEC after the first round. No. 1 Alabama trails No. 9 Tennessee by three strokes, while the Gamecocks are just one behind the Crimson Tide. LSU is in fifth place, one shot behind South Carolina and UAB. Play resumes on Saturday at 9 a.m.