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April 16, 2011

By Wes Todd
Assistant Media Relations Director

Coach McDonald

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. – South Carolina junior Wesley Bryan fired one of just four rounds under par in Saturday’s second round of the SEC Championship, and he stands in a three-way tie for second place, one shot back of the tournament leader at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course.

Bryan led the Gamecocks to a team round of 295 (+15) – just one shot higher than Friday’s first round – on a day when scoring conditions were just as tough, if not tougher. As a result, Carolina moved up one spot to eighth place at 589 (+29), three shots back of 10th-ranked Auburn and six back of eighth-ranked LSU.

On a day when birdies were tough to come by, Bryan made four of them and navigated his way around the windswept Seaside Course in 1-under-par 69, two shots better than his opening 71 on Friday. Starting on the back nine, he birdied two of his first three holes to move to 2-under, then made up for a bogey at No. 13 with a birdie at the par-5 15th to get back to 2-under before rolling off seven straight pars.

With a howling wind in his face, Bryan carded a bogey at the tough par-4 fifth hole to move back to 1-over, then rolled in a birdie at the par-5 seventh to move back to 2-under. After a near-miss birdie opportunity at No. 8, he left his approach on the bottom tier of the multi-leveled green on No. 9, leading to a three-putt bogey. Nevertheless, it was a stellar round on a day that saw very few low scores, and he stands just one shot back of the tournament lead with one round to play.

The rest of the Gamecocks – all of whom are competing in the SEC Championship for the first time – fought their way through the wind with varying degrees of success. Sophomore Dean Hester posted his second straight round of 74 (+4), but two bad holes were the only thing keeping the native of Dublin, Ga., from a stellar day of golf. Hester made the turn at 1-under after making birdies at 11 and 18 (along with a bogey at the 14th). But he found trouble around the green on No. 2, leading to a double-bogey, then struggled with the wind at No. 5 where he carded a triple-bogey 7. A birdie at the seventh got one stroke back before a bogey at No. 8 left him with a 74.

Freshman Caulder Moore found some tough-going in the early part of his round, but settled down over the last few holes to finish with a 76 (+6). After an opening bogey, he made two double-bogeys, a bogey and a birdie on the final five holes of his first nine to make the turn at 5-over. Another bogey at No. 2 dropped him to 6-over, but he would par his final seven holes – narrowly missing a birdie putt at the last – to sign for a 6-over day.

Blaine Woodruff, the team’s other freshman, was 5-over after four holes with double-bogeys at 11 and 13 and a bogey at the 12th. He would settle down, however, playing his final 14 holes in just 1-over-par, including a birdie at the par-4 first hole. And sophomore Dykes Harbin signed for a 78 (+8), carding six bogeys and one double-bogey in his second round.

Florida extended its first-round lead to six shots, shooting a 282 (+2) to move to 567 (+7) for the tournament and take a six-shot lead over Tennessee at 573 (+13). Alabama is third at 576 (+16). Individually, John Peterson of LSU holds the 36-hole lead at 139 (-1), with three players – including Bryan – at even-par 140. Joining Bryan are a pair of Gators, Phillip Choi and Andres Echavarria.

The Gamecocks will start in a familiar spot – 8 a.m. on the No. 10 tee – Sunday morning, paired with Auburn and Kentucky for the final round of the 2011 SEC Championship. Live scoring is available through, and fans can follow the action via Twitter by following @GamecockMGolf.

April 16, 2011 • St. Simons Island, Ga.
Sea Island Golf Club (Seaside) • Par 70, 6,991 Yards

T2. Wesley Bryan – 71-69-140 (E)
T30. Dean Hester – 74-74=148 (+8)
T34. Caulder Moore – 73-76=149 (+9)
T44. Blaine Woodruff – 76-76=152 (+12)
T50. Dykes Harbin – 76-78=154 (+14)

1. Florida – 285-282=567 (+7)
2. Tennessee – 286-287=573 (+13)
3. Alabama – 291-285=576 (+16)
T4. Georgia – 292-288=580 (+20)
T4. Arkansas – 286-294=580 (+20)
6. LSU – 292-291=583 (+23)
7. Auburn – 292-294=586 (+26)
8. South Carolina – 294-295=589 (+29)
9. Kentucky – 293-297=590 (+30)
10. Mississippi – 303-291=594 (+34)
11. Vanderbilt – 299-308=607 (+47)
12. Mississippi State – 299-310=609 (+49)