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May 19, 2010

Tournament Notes in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader | Live Scoring

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s men’s golf team begins its quest for a third trip to the NCAA Championship in four years this week as they compete in the NCAA East Regional. The tournament runs Thursday through Saturday at the par 70, 6,749-yard Course at Yale in New Haven, Conn.

The Gamecocks have had more than a month since their last outing – a disappointing ninth-place finish at the SEC Championship – and plenty of time to prepare for what will be a tough golf course and a strong tournament field. A total of 75 players – 14 teams and five individuals – will be playing for five team spots and one individual berth in next month’s NCAA Championship in Chattanooga, Tenn.

As with every tournament this season, South Carolina will sent out seniors George Bryan IV, Patrick Rada and Paul Woodbury along with sophomore Wesley Bryan and freshman Clint Tolleson for this week’s 54-hole event. Three of those five – both Bryans and Rada – have played in at least one previous NCAA event.

George Bryan IV, named All-SEC late last month, has played in three previous regionals with positive results in two of them. He tied for 10th in 2007 to help the Gamecocks win the West Regional and advance to the NCAA Championship, then struggled to a 113th-place finish in 2008 as the Gamecocks missed the cut. He came back with a strong 14th-place finish last season at the Southeast Regional in Sorrento, Fla., to help South Carolina return to the NCAA Championship.

Rada and Wesley Bryan will make their second appearances in the postseason. Rada tied for 44th last year but posted a first-round 68 to boost the Gamecocks early on. Bryan tied his older brother for 14th place at 208.

In last season’s NCAA Southeast Regional, the Gamecocks torched the layout at RedTail Golf Club in Sorrento, Fla., to post the third-lowest 54-hole score in school history en route to a tie for second place and a berth in the NCAA Championship. Senior Mark Silvers III was the main catalyst as his final-round 64 (-7) earned him a top-10 finish at 207 (-6) and helped the Gamecocks to a team score of 269, the best of the day, to tie Arizona and Georgia for second place.

UCLA and Texas, the top two seeds, are both ranked in the nation’s top 10 as the Longhorns are No. 8 and the Bruins are No. 7 according to Golfweek. The Gamecocks, as the No. 3 seed, are ranked 15th, with the other two top seeds, Virginia and Alabama, ranked 20th and 27th, respectively. Six conference champions are in the field, including No. 31 East Tennessee State (Atlantic Sun), No. 42 Southeastern Louisiana (Southland), No. 43 Charlotte (Atlantic-10), No. 45 Kent State (Mid-American), Columbia (Ivy) and Lafayette (Patriot). SEC foe Vanderbilt is the No. 10 seed with Penn State and UNC Wilmington rounding out the field.

The layout at the Course At Yale is recognized as one of the finest examples of early American course design. Large deeply bunkered greens and narrow rolling fairways are the core of Yale’s penalizing character. Two of the holes – the 432-yard par-4 fourth and the 238-yard par 3 ninth – have been ranked among the world’s 100 most difficult holes. The course, which opened for play in 1926, was designed under the supervision of Charles Blair Macdonald, the renowned golf course architect, champion golfer and co-founder of the USGA.

The Gamecocks will be in the first group off the No. 1 tee Thursday, paired with UCLA and Texas. Tee times begin at 8 a.m. and continue every 10 minutes. Live scoring will be available through, and fans can receive periodic updates via Twitter by following @GamecockMGolf.