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Sept. 25, 2009

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Four of South Carolina’s five players shot rounds under par and the team fired a 10-under 274 to hold sole possession of second place following one round at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate. Senior Patrick Rada is tied for second place in the individual standings after an opening-round 67 as South Carolina is only two shots back of leader Arkansas State.

With wet, soft greens and the competitors playing under “lift, clean and place” conditions, it was a birdie binge for the Gamecocks as the starting five combined to card 19 birdies and an eagle. Rada led the charge with a 4-under 67, his best score as a collegiate player. He got off to a torrid start, grabbing birdies on four of his first six holes and eventually making the turn at 3-under. He would finish with two birdies in his last five holes to go 32-35=67.

Also having a career-best day was redshirt freshman Clint Tolleson. Playing in just his second collegiate event, Tolleson shot a 3-under 68 to tie for ninth place after 18 holes of play. The native of Spartanburg made the turn at even par and was 1-over heading to the 15th hole. But he put together a birdie-par-birdie-eagle finish to shoot 33 on the back and sign for a 68.

George Bryan IV would like to have one hole back – the par-3 13th that saw him make a double-bogey – but the senior from Chapin had an otherwise very impressive round with five birdies to shoot 69 (-2) and tie for 15th place after one round. Senior Paul Woodbury also continued his strong play, putting together a steady two-birdie, one-bogey round to shoot a 1-under 70. Sophomore Wesley Bryan had pars on 16 of 18 holes with a birdie at No. 6 and a double-bogey at the 10th to shoot 73 (+1).

Arkansas State leads the way after an opening-round 272 with the Gamecocks two shots back. Georgia Tech and Ole Miss are tied for third at 9-under par.

The second round gets underway Saturday morning with the Gamecocks slated for tee times beginning at 10:35 a.m. EDT. Fans can follow all the action via

T2. Patrick Rada – 67 (-4)
T9. Clint Tolleson – 68 (-3)
T15. George Bryan IV – 69 (-2)
T24. Paul Woodbury – 70 (-1)
T38. Wesley Bryan – 72 (+1)

1. Arkansas State (-12)
T3. Georgia Tech (-9)
T3. Mississippi (-9)
5. Notre Dame (-7)
6. Vanderbilt (-4)
7. South Alabama (-2)
T8. Middle Tennessee (-1)
T8. Memphis (-1)
10. Coll. of Charleston (+1)
11. Akron (+3)
T12. Western Carolina (+6)
T12. Davidson (+6)
14. Belmont (+13)
15. Mississippi State (+15)
16. Tennessee-Martin (+19)
17. Lipscomb (+23)