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March 17, 2012

STATESBORO, Ga. — The South Carolina men’s golf team played its best round of the season on Saturday, shooting an 11-under 277 in the second round of the Chris Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club.

The Gamecocks climbed up the leaderboard to finish the day in seventh place with the season-low round, which was the third lowest of the 14-team field on Saturday. South Carolina’s round was its lowest since shooting a 275 at the 2010 NCAA East Regional.

“It was fun out there today,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “We set a team goal last night to shoot 12-under and we almost got it done. All five guys played really well. I can’t say enough about our freshmen and their contribution. We are looking forward to the final round. We need another solid round to move up the leaderboard.”

South Carolina recorded four rounds under par and one even-par round, as a pair of newcomers led the way. Freshman Caleb Sturgeon fired a career-low 5-under 67 to lead the charge for the Gamecocks. Sturgeon, who has recorded a top-five and a top-10 finish in two tournaments this spring, moved into a tie for 12th place with a two-round total of 140 (-4). He played bogey free golf on the day as he carded five birdies and 13 pars. Freshman Will Murphy bounced back from Friday’s 74 by turning in a 3-under 69 on Saturday. Murphy was 1-over through 10 holes but he caught fire down the stretch, recording birdies on four of his final eight holes to move into a tie for 25th with a two-day score of 143 (-1).

Senior Wesley Bryan wrapped up the day in a tie for 23rd after carding a 2-under 70. The Chapin, S.C., native was at even par after 14 holes, but a pair of birdies on the sixth and seventh holes moved him to 2-under where he finished the round.

Junior Dykes Harbin and freshman Sean Kelly are tied for 41st with a two-round score of 146 (+2). Harbin shot a 1-under 71 on Saturday, while Kelly turned in an even-par 72.

Sophomore Blaine Woodruff, who is playing as an individual, joined in the solid play for the Gamecocks as he carded a 1-under 71 to move into a tie for 51st with a score of 147 (+3).

Third-ranked Alabama remained in the lead after shooting a 19-under 269, taking its two-round total to 537 (-39). Virginia is in second with a score of 558, followed by Auburn (559), Florida (565) and UAB (565).

Virginia’s Ben Kohles held onto the individual lead with a 6-under 66. Kohles has a two-round score of 131 (-13), which is one shot ahead of Alabama’s Cory Whitsett (132).

Final-round play is scheduled to begin on Sunday at 8 a.m. The Gamecocks are paired with North Florida and Kentucky. Live results will be available at

T12. Caleb Sturgeon 73-67=140 (-4)
T23. Wesley Bryan 72-70=142 (-2)
T25. Will Murphy 74-69=143 (-1)
T41. Dykes Harbin 75-71=146 (+2)
T41. Sean Kelly 74-72=146 (+2)
*T51. Blaine Woodruff 76-71=147 (+3)
*Playing as an individual

1. Alabama 268-269=537 (-39)
2. Virginia 283-275=558 (-18)
3. Auburn 282-277=559 (-17)
T4. Florida 280-285=565 (-11)
T4. UAB 286-279=565 (-11)
6. Mississippi 280-286=566 (-10)
7. South Carolina 293-277=570 (-6)
8. North Florida 286-285=571 (-5)
9. Kentucky 286 286-286=572 (-4)
10. Notre Dame 289-293=582 (+6)
11. Minnesota 300-284=584 (+8)
12. North Carolina State 301-286=587 (+11)
13. Georgia Southern 296-292=588 (+12)
14. Vanderbilt 304-287=591 (+15)