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May 17, 2008

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – No. 7 South Carolina men’s golf wrapped up its season with a score of 859 (+7) and a 16th-place finish in the NCAA East Regional at Council Fire Golf Club today. After a 2-1/2 hour fog delay in the morning, the Gamecocks turned in three scores at or under par in the final round for a team total of 278 (-6) to move up seven spots. Senior Warren Thomas finished the tournament in a tie for 17th place after consecutive 68s (-3) in the final two rounds, while junior Mark Silvers III turned in a team-best 67 (-4) on Saturday.

With a tournament total of 209 (-4), Thomas collected his third top-20 finish of the season and his best showing in an NCAA Regional in the final tournament of his career. He opened the tournament with a 73 before rallying to matching 68s. Like Friday, Thomas made his decisive more in the second nine holes of the day. After making the turn at even par on Saturday, he turned in four birdies, including three straight on Nos. 13, 14 and 15.

Junior Mark Silvers III battled his way into the top 50 with a final-round 67 (-4). His opening-round 71 (E) was the second-lowest score on the team , but he stumbled in the final holes of Friday’s second round. Silvers responded with six birdies on Saturday to finish the tournament at 214 (+1) and in 47th place. The junior was hot right off the first tee, carding three straight birdies to open the round. After a bogey on the par-4 fifth hole, a birdie on No. 9 had him at three-under at the turn. Silvers put up two more birdies on the back nine against just one bogey.

Senior Mark Anderson finished in 58th place with a total of 215 (+2), capped by a final-round 72 (+1). He carded his tournament-best four birdies on Saturday, including three on the course’s nine par-4s. Sophomore George Bryan IV turned in his best score of the tournament with a final-round 71 (E) to finish at 223 (+10) in 113th position. He picked up four birdies, two on each half of the course, with three of them coming on par-5s. Junior Patrick Cunning rounded out the team in 133rd place with a total of 229 (+16) after shooting 77 (+6) for the second-straight day.

No. 1 Georgia won the tournament going away, posting a 54-hole total of 811 (-41) to top Augusta State by 21 strokes. Three Bulldogs finished in the top 10 of the individual standings, including Russell Henley whose final-round 66 (-5) moved him into a tie for first. Henley’s total of 200 (-13) matched that of UAB’s Zach Sucher, who made his move with a course-record tying 62 on Friday.

The other eight teams advancing to the NCAA Championship out of the East Regional are UC-Irvine, Mississippi State, UAB, No. 16 Auburn, No. 5 Charlotte, No. 21 East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State and Virginia.