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March 27, 2008

COLUMBIA – South Carolina men’s golf is back on the course on Fri., Mar. 28, at the Furman Intercollegiate, just two days after wrapping up second place at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. The 11th-ranked Gamecocks, who are playing in the event for the first time since winning the 1991 edition, are one of three nationally-ranked teams in the 24-team field. South Carolina, along with No. 14 Clemson and No. 16 Chattanooga, will look to unseat defending champion Virginia Tech at the Furman University Golf Course.

“I know the team is excited to be playing at Furman,” head coach Bill McDonald said. “Several of our players have grown up playing in events there, and I think that their experience will help us tremendously. The past two weeks have been exciting with the team in the hunt for a tournament title, and I look for our guys to compete well again this weekend. I am extremely proud of the effort our entire team has made to improve this spring, and we hope to continue our solid play.”

Tournament staples senior Mark Anderson and sophomore George Bryan IV are at the top of the lineup for the Gamecocks again this weekend. Anderson leads the squad with a career-best 71.94 average and has finished in the top 15 of all three spring tournaments. Bryan shot a season-best 208 (-4) to win the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational two weeks ago and boasts a 72.19 average so far this season.

After consecutive top-15 finishes in the last two tournaments, Patrick Cunning will look to continue the momentum that carried him to a career-best 10th-place finish in the Hootie at Bulls Bay earlier this week. The junior is third on the team with a 72.60 average, nearly two full strokes better than his average the last two seasons.

Junior Allen Koon and sophomore Patrick Rada round out the squad for the event, both making their spring debuts. Koon posted a 73.42 average over four tournaments in the fall, picking up top-20 finishes at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and The Brickyard Collegiate. Rada helped the Gamecocks to fourth-place in Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play and carded a career-low 68 in the first round of the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, just the second varsity tournament of his career.

Among the teams in the 54-hole event, which tees off at 8 a.m. each of the next three days, are Ohio State and Vanderbilt in addition to six of host Furman’s fellow Southern Conference schools.