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April 28, 2008

COLUMBIA – South Carolina senior Mark Anderson and sophomore George Bryan IV are among the eight players on the All-Southeastern Conference first team, the league announced today. The duo becomes the first pair of Gamecocks to earn first-team selections since Eric Ecker and Kyle Thompson made the squad in both 1998 and 1999. Anderson is making his second appearance on the first team, having earned the honor as a freshman in 2005 as well.

“I’m proud of both Mark and George for all they’ve accomplished this year,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “Mark has been tremendously consistent his senior year. It’s good to see George on the team as well after missing out last season. Both players are extremely deserving of the honor.”

Anderson collected seven top-20 finishes this season, including all six spring events, and was not out of the top 25 all season. He cracked the top 10 for the first time this season with a ninth-place showing at the John Hayt Invitational to open spring play and finished a season-best sixth at the Administaff Augusta State Invitational leading into the SEC Championship. In his final conference event, Anderson rallied back from a first-round setback to take 15th place in the event. Rated 37th in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings, he leads the Gamecocks and ranks sixth in the SEC with a 72.04 stroke average.

Bryan is making his All-Conference debut, despite earning honorable mention All-America honors last season. His 72.27 stroke average is 10th-best in the SEC, and he ranks 48th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Ratings. After opening the season in third place at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, Bryan took second in the SEC Championship last week, becoming the best-placed Gamecock at the event since Thompson finished in the same position in 1999. Bryan picked up his first collegiate victory in the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in mid-March, earning National Player of the Week honors from both Golfweek and GolfWorld. His total of 208 at the event is among the top 15 tournament scores in school history, as is his second-round 66.

No. 1 Alabama nearly swept the individual awards and is the only other team with more than one representative on the first team. Michael Thompson, the nation’s No. 2 golfer according to the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, earned Golfer of the Year honors, while Joseph Sykora was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Head coach Jay Seawell collected the Coach of the Year award after leading the Crimson Tide to six victories in 10 tournaments this season. Georgia’s Harris English was named Freshman of the Year as the 27th-ranked golfer on the Golfweek/Sagarin standings.

After finishing second at the SEC Championship, South Carolina, ranked seventh in last week’s Golfstat Head-to-Head Standings, looks ahead to its NCAA Regional invitation, which will be announced on May 5.

First-Team All-SEC
Mark Anderson, Sr., South Carolina
George Bryan IV, So., South Carolina
Billy Horschel, Jr., Florida
Adam Mitchell, Jr., Georgia
Jay Moseley, Sr., Auburn
Hudson Swafford, So., Georgia
Matthew Swan, Jr., Alabama
Michael Thompson, Sr. Alabama

Individual Awards
Coach of the Year Jay Seawell, Alabama
Golfer of the Year Michael Thompson, Alabama
Scholar-Athlete of the Year Joseph Sykora, Alabama
Freshman of the Year Harris English, Georgia