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March 16, 2012

STATESBORO, Ga. — The South Carolina men’s golf team posted a 293 (+5) on Friday to open play at the Chris Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club.

The Gamecocks are in 10th place heading into Saturday’s second round. Carolina gave up several shots early on but had a solid finish to the day, as three out of the five Gamecocks recorded 36 or better on the back nine with the other two shooting 37 (+1) and 38 (+2).

Senior Wesley Bryan continued his strong start to the spring with an opening-round 72 (E) on Friday. Bryan, who recorded a win and a tie for seventh in his first two tournaments of 2012, is tied for 24th after a round that included two eagles. The Chapin, S.C., native was 2-over through seven holes before he carded his first eagle of the day on the par-5 ninth to make the turn at even. Bryan gave the strokes back, however, with a double bogey on the 10th. After seven straight pars, Bryan eagled the par-5 18th to wrap up his day at even par.

“We struggled early in the round again, but the guys found a way to save some shots down the stretch,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “I am disappointed to be in 10th place but I’m excited about the fight that I see in this team. Wesley Bryan’s eagle on the last hole will hopefully give us some good momentum going into the round (on Saturday).”

Freshman Caleb Sturgeon, who is coming off the first top-five finish of his career, carded a 1-over 73 to end the round tied for 36th. Sturgeon recorded two birdies, 13 pars and three bogeys to produce his seventh straight round of 73 or lower.

Freshmen Sean Kelly and Will Murphy each shot a 2-over 74 to finish the day in a tie for 48th, while junior Dykes Harbin turned in a 3-over 75 and is tied for 56th.

Sophomore Blaine Woodruff, who is playing as an individual, is tied for 62nd after shooting a 76 (+4).

Third-ranked Alabama holds a decisive lead after firing a tournament record of 268 (-20). Florida and Mississippi are tied for second with a score of 280 (-8), followed by Auburn (282) and Virginia (283). Virginia’s Ben Kohles fired a 7-under 65 to take the individual lead, while Auburn’s Blayne Barber, Alabama’s Justin Thomas and Bobby Wyatt and Mississippi’s Joe David are tied for second after each posting a 6-under 66.

Second-round play is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 9 a.m. South Carolina is paired with host Georgia Southern and Minnesota and will begin the round on hole No. 10. Live results will be available at

T24. Wesley Bryan 72 (E)
T36. Caleb Sturgeon 73 (+1)
T48. Will Murphy 74 (+2)
T48. Sean Kelly 74 (+2)
T56. Dykes Harbin 75 (+3)
*T62. Blaine Woodruff 76 (+4)
*Playing as an individual

1. Alabama 268 (-20)
T2. Florida 280 (-8)
T2. Mississippi 280 (-8)
4. Auburn 282 (-6)
5. Virginia 283 (-5)
T6. Kentucky 286 (-2)
T6. North Florida 286 (-2)
T6. UAB 286 (-2)
9. Notre Dame 289 (+1)
10. South Carolina 293 (+5)
11. Georgia Southern 296 (+8)
12. Minnesota 300 (+12)
13. North Carolina State 301 (+13)
14. Vanderbilt 304 (+16)