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March 5, 2012

AIKEN, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s golf team posted rounds of 286 (+6) and 284 (+4) on Monday at the Palmetto Golf Club to finish the day in a tie for the lead at the Palmetto Intercollegiate.

The Gamecocks’ two-round score of 570 (+10) has them in position to win their first team title since claiming first in the 2009 Rees Jones Intercollegiate. Carolina is tied with Virginia and one stroke ahead of in-state rival Clemson heading into the final round.

Freshman Caleb Sturgeon and senior Wesley Bryan each turned in solid rounds to finish the day in the top five. Sturgeon carded an even-par 70 and a 1-over 71 to move into a tie for third with a score of 141 (+1). Bryan is in fifth with a score of 142 (+2) after recording an even-par 70 in the morning round and a 2-over 72 to close out the afternoon.

“It was real windy for most of the day,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “The golf course played really hard. I thought the guys did great job of figuring out how to make a bunch of pars. Wesley Bryan’s first round was really solid, and so was Caleb Sturgeon’s. The guys just hung in there. We got off to a bit of a shaky start in the afternoon and made a few bogeys early on, but we came back.”

The Gamecocks were in a three-way tie for first with Virginia and Clemson after the first round, but freshman Will Murphy’s afternoon play was a big reason the Gamecocks moved ahead of the Tigers. After struggling to a 76 (+6) in the morning, Murphy responded with a career-low 68 (-2), finishing the day in a tie for 11th at 144 (+4).

Will Murphy was really strong,” McDonald said. “That was big for us. I’m excited about tomorrow and am really proud of what the guys did today.”

Junior Dykes Harbin turned in rounds of 72 and 74 to tie for 22nd with a score of 146 (+6), while freshman Sean Kelly is in a tie for 33rd after shooting a 74 and a 73.

Sturgeon and Bryan are within reach of Virginia’s Ben Kohles and Clemson’s Crawford Reeves, who are tied for the lead with a score of 139 (-1).

Tuesday’s final round is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. The Gamecocks are paired with Virginia and Clemson and are set to tee off on hole No. 1 beginning at 10:50.

T3. Caleb Sturgeon 70-71=141
5. Wesley Bryan 70-72=142
T11. Will Murphy 76-68=144
T22. Dykes Harbin 72-74=146
T33. Sean Kelly 74-73=147

T1. South Carolina 286-284=570 +10
T1. Virginia 292-278=570 +10
3. Clemson 286-285=571 +11
4. East Carolina 290-285=575 +15
T5. Augusta State 299-282=581 +21
T5. Liberty 291-290=581 +21
7. Chattanooga 294-289=583 +23
8. Coll. of Charleston 297-288=585 +25
9. Furman University 286-301=587 +27
10. South Carolina-Aiken 295-295=590 +30
11. Vanderbilt 298-293=591 +31
12. Akron 299-293=592 +32
13. Presbyterian College 305-293=598 +38
14. Maryland 302-297=599 +39
15. Francis Marion 305-295=600 +40
16. Georgia Southern 313-294=607 +47
17. Elon 308-300=608 +48
18. Wofford College 322-295=617 +57