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March 30, 2010

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Coach McDonald

AWENDAW, S.C. – Senior Patrick Rada and sophomore Wesley Bryan each fired rounds of 70 (-1) in Tuesday’s final round of the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, earning finishes in the tournament’s top 10 and leading South Carolina to a fourth-place team finish.

The Gamecocks shot a team score of 282 (-2) on Tuesday to finish at 850 (-2) for the tournament, five shots behind tournament champion LSU. The team score marks South Carolina’s best of the season by 16 strokes, besting their score from the Seminole Intercollegiate two weeks ago.

Rada earned his third top-10 finish of the season with three rounds of par or better, going 71-66-70=207 (-6) to finish in third place, three shots out of the lead. His score of 207 marks the lowest of his career by five shots, surpassing a 212 in the 2008 Mason Rudolph Invitational. The senior from Anderson, S.C., got off to a strong start with three birdies in his first six holes, but ran into trouble with bogeys on two of the three closing holes of the front nine – a theme for the Gamecocks’ day. He would respond with an even-par back nine to finish at 1-under for the day.

Bryan, after tying the then-course record with a 64 (-7) in Monday’s second round, had an up-and-down round on Tuesday that finished at 1-under 70. He didn’t have a par until the seventh hole after a four-birdie, two-bogey start, and a couple of tough breaks on the ninth hole gave him a bogey to drop to 1-under at the turn. He would also bogey the 11th to drop to even, but it would be his last of the day as a birdie at the short par-4 16th pushed him to 1-under. His total score of 209 (-4) was the second-best of his collegiate career and earned him a seventh-place finish, his fourth top-10 of the season.

Senior Paul Woodbury had the strongest round of the day on Tuesday, carding a 2-under-par 69 to move up to a tie for 32nd place. He was consistent throughout the round, including back-to-back birdies at nine and 10, and he drained a 35-footer for birdie at the 18th to close his week. George Bryan IV closed with a 73 (+2) to tie with Woodbury at 32nd place, and Clint Tolleson shot 77 (+6) on the final day.

LSU rallied down the stretch to track down clubhouse leader Wake Forest and won by one shot at 845 (-7). The Demon Deacons were at 846 (-6) with Virginia taking third place at 848 (-4) and the Gamecocks finishing fourth. NC State’s Matt Hill was the wire-to-wire medalist at 204 (-9), and Wake Forest’s Lee Bedford broke the tournament record with a closing 63 to finish as the runner-up at 206 (-7). Rada tied Wake Forest’s Brendan Gielow for third at 207 (-6).

South Carolina will have a short turnaround for its final tune-up before conference tournament play as they will head to the Administaff Augusta State Invitational this weekend. Play gets underway with 36 holes Saturday at Forest Hills Country Club in Augusta, Ga.

T3. Patrick Rada – 71-66-70=207 (-6)
T7. Wesley Bryan – 75-64-70=209 (-4)
T32. George Bryan IV – 72-72-73=217 (+4)
T32. Paul Woodbury – 78-70-69=217 (+4)
T62. Clint Tolleson – 79-72-77=228 (+15)

1. LSU – 845 (-7)
2. Wake Forest – 846 (-6)
3. Virginia -848 (-4)
4. South Carolina – 850 (-2)
5. Augusta State – 853 (+1)
6. Duke – 854 (+2)
7. Auburn – 855 (+3)
T8. Clemson – 857 (+5)
T8. NC State – 857 (+5)
10. Chattanooga – 863 (+11)
11. Kentucky – 868 (+16)
12. East Tennessee State – 870 (+18)
13. UCF – 876 (+24)
14. Long Beach State – 903 (+51)
15. College of Charleston – 921 (+69)