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March 22, 2011

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

BALL GROUND, Ga. – South Carolina wrapped up a 2-2 week at the Callaway/GCAA Match Play Championships, defeating Washington State on Tuesday 3-1-1 at Hawks Ridge Golf Club. The Gamecocks finished in 13th place after dropping their first two matches to UCLA and Georgia, but rallied for victories over Baylor and Washington State to wrap up a .500 week at the midway point of the spring season.

Freshman Blaine Woodruff, playing at the No. 1 spot all week for Carolina, came through in a big way by running away from the Cougars’ Kent Hagen for a 6 & 5 victory. Woodruff won three of the first four holes and continued to increase his lead, holding as much as a 7-up lead with eight to play. After Hagen finally won a hole, Woodruff was dormie with six to play and made par at the match’s 13th hole to clinch the victory.

Sophomore Clint Tolleson also won going away, taking a 5 & 3 victory over Branden Dalton. After Dalton won the first hole with a birdie, Tolleson took the lead for good three holes later. Back-to-back birdies bumped Tolleson’s lead to 3-up through eight holes, but Dalton fought back to close the gap to one hole through 11. But Tolleson then rolled off four straight wins to close out the match at the 15th.

Dean Hester took the clinching point for the Gamecocks, pulling away late to take a 3 & 2 victory over Wazzu’s Nick Ellis. The players halved the first four holes before Ellis took the lead on the match’s fifth hole. Hester pulled even three holes later and the match was all square through 11, but then Hester won two straight with birdies and another with a par to go dormie with three to play. Matching pars at hole No. 13 (the 16th of the match) gave Hester the victory.

Freshman Logan Harrell fought his way back from a three-hole deficit to earn a halve with the Cougars’ Hank Frame. Harrell won the second hole to take his only lead of the match, then saw Frame take the lead two holes later. Frame’s lead would climb as high as 3-up with five to play, but three birdies in the next four holes for Harrell pulled the match all square with one to play. Both players made par at the closing hole and split the point.

Wesley Bryan fell to Trent Sanders 2 & 1 to drop the only match of the day for the Gamecocks. Sanders took the lead at the match’s ninth hole, but Bryan pulled back to a one-hole deficit with two to play. However, a par for Sanders and bogey for Bryan on the 17th clinched the Cougars’ lone win of the day for Sanders.

Tenth-seeded Duke claimed the match play championship with a 4-1 victory over Illinois. Southern California finished third, defeating Texas Tech in their match, and Georgia Tech defeated Texas A&M for fifth place.

South Carolina will stay in-state for its next event as the Gamecocks make their traditional late-March trip to the Lowcountry for the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. That event runs Sunday-Tuesday, March 27-29, at Bulls Bay Golf Club just outside Mt. Pleasant.

13th-Place Match • Tuesday, March 22, 2011

(16) South Carolina 3, (14) Washington State 1 (One match halved)
Blaine Woodruff (SC) def. Kent Hagen (WSU), 6 & 5
Dean Hester (SC) def. Nick Ellis (WSU), 3 & 2
Trent Sanders (WSU) def. Wesley Bryan (SC), 2 & 1
Logan Harrell (SC) vs. Hank Frame (WSU), halved
Clint Tolleson (SC) def. Branden Dalton (WSU), 5 & 3