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May 10, 2008

COLUMBIA – South Carolina men’s golf head coach Bill McDonald and sophomore George Bryan IV prepared for the Gamecocks’ upcoming NCAA East Regional outing by earning top-10 finishes in the 84th Horry County State Bank Carolinas Open this week. McDonald took third with a three-round total of 204 (-9), two strokes behind the tournament winner. Bryan tied for seventh and for the top finish by an amateur at 208 (-5) at the Surf Golf and Beach Club in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

McDonald thrived on the longer holes on the course, scoring six under on the par fours and four under on the par fives over the three rounds. He opened the event on Tuesday with a 67 (-4) behind six birdies, three on each half of the course. His second round also came out to 67 as he carded just one bogey among five birdies. In the final round, McDonald birdied three of the first nine holes and hit par on the first eight of the back nine before a bogey on No. 18 set him back to 70 (-1) for the round.

Bryan was similarly solid in the first two rounds, shooting 69 (-2) and 68 (-3), respectively, before carding a 71 (E) on Thursday. He opened each round with a birdie on the par-5 first hole and ended up scoring four under on both the course’s par fours and its par fives. In the first two rounds, Bryan made his move on the back nine, including an eagle on the par-4 10th in the second round. In the final round, however, it was where he struggled. After two birdies and seven pars on the front nine and consecutive birdies on Nos. 11 and 12, he carded bogey on No. 13 and No. 14 and added a double bogey on No. 15 to fall back to even for the round.

Bryan will look to continue his solid play next week when he and the Gamecocks head to Chattanooga, Tenn., for the NCAA East Regional. The three-round event at Council Fire Golf Course begins on Thu., May 15.