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Aug. 25, 2009

TULSA, Okla. – Three of the four Gamecock golfers competing in the 2009 U.S. Amateur Championship have advanced to the match play portion of the event by finishing in the top 64 of stroke play qualifying. Sophomore Wesley Bryan, senior Patrick Rada and 2008 graduate Mark Anderson advanced from stroke play qualifying at Southern Hills Country Club and Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa.

Bryan’s round of even-par 70 – which he desperately needed after an opening 77 – was featured in GolfWeek’s coverage of the event on Tuesday. He made six birdies on the notoriously difficult Southern Hills course but only managed an even-par round of 70. However, it was enough to earn him a berth in the match play round at 7-over par.

“Yesterday was a 77 that could have been a 90,” Bryan told GolfWeek’s Sean Martin. “Today was a (70) that could have been a 63.”

The sophomore from Chapin, S.C., had what many are calling the shot of the tournament thus far. He rolled in a 90-foot putt for birdie at the par-4 10th.

“It took at least 10 seconds for it to go in,” Bryan said. “I stopped it at the top of the hill, then it trickled down and started winding around and went right in the middle of the hole at the perfect speed. It was unbelievable.”

Anderson tied for second place with rounds of 71-70=141 (+1). He fired an even-par round of 70 at Cedar Ridge today after shooting 71 at Southern Hills on Monday. It will be his second straight appearance in match play after advancing to the first round last year.

Rada will also be making his second foray into match play after a tie for 32nd place at 72-74=146 (+6). Starting on the 10th tee, he carded two birdies and a bogey on his first nine Tuesday, but then recorded four straight bogeys and found himself on the verge of disaster. He managed to right the ship and rolled in a birdie at the par-3 6th to offset a pair of finishing bogeys to make the cut.

Paul Woodbury shot a 2-over-par 72 on Tuesday, but it was not enough to offset his opening round 81 as he missed the cut by five shots at 13-over, tied for 160th in the 312-player field.

Match-play pairings are mostly set for the round of 64, which gets underway Wednesday morning at Southern Hills. However, a 27-man playoff will commence at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to determine the final four seeds in the match play. One of those qualifiers will play Anderson, who earned the No. 2 seed, at 1 p.m. Rada will take on Bhavik Patel of Bakersfield, Calif., at 11:20 a.m., and Bryan will face Trent Whitekiller of Sallisaw, Okla., at noon.

Complete coverage and live scoring can be found at Televised coverage of match play gets underway at 3 p.m. on The Golf Channel.