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March 30, 2008

GREENVILLE, S.C. – After a long day on the course, South Carolina men’s golf took third place at the Furman Intercollegiate behind sophomore Patrick Rada’s career-best top five finish. The No. 11 Gamecocks, who started their day early after darkness suspended Saturday’s second round, ended the event at 883 (290-294-298) to finish eight strokes behind tournament winner Chattanooga and collect their third top-three finish in as many events.

Rada was dialed in from the opening round, carding a 71 on Friday to sit two strokes off the lead. A second-round 76 was a temporary setback as he delivered a 71 in the final round to close the event at a career-low 218 (+2). His final round featured four birdies on the front nine and, despite a bogey on the par-4 10th, he settled in for par the rest of the way to secure a share of fifth place.

Senior Mark Anderson finished in the top 10 with a three-round total of 220 (+4), continuing his string of four straight top-20 finishes this spring. After five birdies helped him to a 75 (+3) on Friday, Anderson collected four birdies in each subsequent round to shoot 72 (E) and 73 (+1) in the final two rounds, respectively.

A three-round total of 223 (+7) slotted sophomore George Bryan IV into 20th place. An eagle on the par-5 second was the highlight of Bryan’s first-round 73 (+1), and he sank six birdies for 72 (E) the second trip around the course. After getting to one-under through the first six holes of round three, he closed the front nine with back-to-back bogeys and stumbled in the final six holes to close the event with a 78 (+6).

Junior Patrick Cunning took 48th place after shooting 227 (+11) for the tournament, closing with a 79 (+7) after opening rounds of 74 (+2). Like Bryan, it was the final stretch of holes that derailed Cunning’s final round. A birdie on the par-3 14th had him at three-over for the round before four straight bogeys set him back. Junior Allen Koon rounded out the team in 54th position, carding rounds of 72, 80 and 76 to finish at 228 (+12).

Chattanooga picked up the victory on the back of individual medalist Jonathan Hodge, whose 213 (-3) was one shot better than Vanderbilt’s Jon Curran in second place, and all five Mocs finished in the top 20.

The Gamecocks have one final tune-up event before the Southeastern Conference Championship. South Carolina heads to Augusta, Ga., for the Augusta State Administaff Invitational, which begins on Fri., April 4.