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Feb. 26, 2011

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By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

Coach McDonald Previews the Seahawk Invitational

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina will kick off the spring portion of the 2010-11 men’s golf season Sunday with the first two round of the Seahawk Invitational. The tournament runs Sunday and Monday at the Country Club of Landfall Nicklaus Course, which will be set up as a par 72, 6,918-yard layout.

The South Carolina starting lineup for this week’s event features two true freshmen, two sophomores and one junior, which could potentially represent the Gamecocks’ strongest lineup to date. Junior Wesley Bryan (Chapin, S.C.) leads the way for Carolina, along with sophomores Dean Hester (Dublin, Ga.) and Dykes Harbin (Augusta, Ga.). Bryan has played in every event in his two-plus years as a Gamecock, and Hester played in three of four events in the fall, earning his first top-10 at the Kiawah Intercollegiate. Harbin will be making his third varsity appearance after playing in the last two fall events.

Two true freshmen round out the lineup with Blaine Woodruff (Acworth, Ga.) and Logan Harrell (Huntersville, N.C.) returning after strong fall seasons; Woodruff was the team’s leader in scoring average through four fall events with a 73.58; he also had two top-20 finishes including a runner-up at the Mason Rudolph Championship.

The Gamecocks will face 11 other squads at the Seahawk Invitational, with three opponents ranked in the latest Golfweek Top 50. No. 26 Wake Forest leads the way, with 45th-ranked Liberty and 47th-ranked East Carolina also among the nation’s ranked teams. No other SEC teams will be in this event, which features host UNC Wilmington along with Davidson, Delaware, Georgia State, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Towson and VCU.

Last year’s Seahawk Invitational was shortened to two rounds after inclement weather forced the cancellation of the final 18 holes, giving then-No. 7 South Carolina a runner-up finish. The Gamecocks shot 588 (+12) in the first 36 holes on Monday, March 1, at the Country Club of Landfall’s Nicklaus Course to take the second spot behind eventual national champion Augusta State.

Wesley Bryan was the top finisher for the Gamecocks, shooting 73-71=144 (E) and finishing in a tie for sixth place. George Bryan IV tied for 11th at 146 (+2) and Clint Tolleson tied for 18th with a 149 (+5). The teams were on the course when the tournament was halted, and results reverted to the end of the second round. Patrick Rada and Paul Woodbury finished in 23rd and 33rd place, respectively. Dean Hester played in his first collegiate event as an individual for the Gamecocks, finishing in a tie for 39th after rounds of 77-76=153 (+9).

Tee times and pairings had not been released as of Saturday morning, and there will be no live Golfstat scoring for this event. A full recap will follow each day’s play on