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April 18, 2010

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – South Carolina senior golfer George Bryan IV tied for the individual SEC Championship on Sunday after posting a three-day total of 204 (-6), but fell in the second hole of a sudden-death playoff to Georgia’s Russell Henley. The Gamecocks shot 864 (+24) as a team and finished in ninth place overall.

Bryan IV held a three-shot lead at one point during his round as he was 7-under for the tournament through 17 holes in his final round. A bogey at the 18th hole dropped him to 2-under for the day, 6-under for the week. Meanwhile, Henley put together a bogey-free round of 67 (-3) after starting the day tied for third place, one shot back of Bryan IV and Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick. He was 1-under for the day after 13 holes, about the time Bryan was heading up the 18th fairway. But back-to-back birdies at 14 and 15 got Henley to 6-under and a tie for the lead, necessitating the playoff.

It was the second time since South Carolina joined the Southeastern Conference in 1992 that the Gamecocks had an individual earn at least a share of medalist honors. Eric Ecker was the SEC medalist at the 1998 championship.

The rest of the team, however, did not fare as well as Bryan IV. Senior Paul Woodbury was the next-highest finisher at 215 (+5) to tie for 18th place in his first SEC Championship appearance. In Sunday’s round, Woodbury made the turn at even par after one bogey and one birdie on the front nine, then stood 1-over after 14 following a pair of bogeys and a birdie shortly after the turn. A double bogey at the 16th, however, dropped him to 3-over for the day.

Wesley Bryan also made the turn at even par for the day, but five bogeys on the back nine left him with a 75 (+5) in his final round, 220 (+10) for the tournament and in a tie for 38th place. Patrick Rada shot 78 (+8) in the final round to finish at 229 (+19) for the week, and Clint Tolleson struggled to an 85 (+15) on Sunday to finish at 235 (+25) overall.

Georgia won the team title for the second straight year, posting a three-day total of 844 (+4) to hold off last-day charges from Florida and Ole Miss, which both finished at 849 (+9) and posted rounds of 3-under on the day. Arkansas fell to fourth at 853 (+13).

Following Henley and Bryan IV, Mississippi’s Jonathan Randolph took third place at 206 (-4) after being the only player in the field to post three rounds in the 60s. Alabama’s Hunter Hamrick and LSU’s Andrew Loupe tied for fourth place at 207 (-3).

The Gamecocks will have more than a month off before heading to the NCAA Regional Tournament at a site yet to be determined. Teams nationwide will learn their postseason destinations in early May.

T1. George Bryan IV – 70-66-68=204 (-6)
T18. Paul Woodbury – 70-72-73=215 (+5)
T38. Wesley Bryan – 69-76-75=220 (+10)
55. Patrick Rada – 77-74-78=229 (+19)
57. Clint Tolleson – 73-77-85=235 (+25)

1. Georgia – 283-277-284=844 (+4)
T2. Florida – 280-292-277=849 (+9)
T2. Mississippi – 288-284-277=849 (+9)
4. Arkansas – 278-286-289=853 (+13)
5. LSU – 283-288-285=856 (+16)
6. Kentucky – 296-276-285=857 (+17)
7. Auburn – 280-292-287=859 (+19)
8. Tennessee – 283-285-294=861 (+21)
9. South Carolina – 282-288-294=864 (+24)
10. Vanderbilt – 284-298-285=867 (+27)
11. Mississippi State – 282-292-301=875 (+35)
12. Alabama – 297-289-292=878 (+38)