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May 17, 2012

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NORMAN, Okla. — The South Carolina men’s golf team posted a 6-over 294 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club on Thursday to open play at the NCAA Southwest Regional.

The Gamecocks finished the day in 10th place but are still within reach of a top-five finish, which would send them to the NCAA Championship. Carolina is eight strokes back of breaking into the top five, as St. Mary’s and Washington are tied for fourth with a score of 286 (-2).

“We still have a chance, obviously,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “We’ve got to play well the next couple of days, but today was pretty disappointing overall. We lost a lot of shots and looked a little bit nervous early in the round. We fought back and had some chances on the last few holes to finish strong but we lost a few there. We are going to have to come out and play better tomorrow. The guys are trying to make some adjustments, and their attitudes are good. “

Senior Wesley Bryan led the way with a 3-under 69 to move into a tie for fifth heading into the second round. He trails Texas’ Jordan Spieth by three strokes. Spieth fired a 6-under 66 to take the lead.

Bryan got off to a strong start with a birdie on hole No. 1. He then reeled off six straight pars before making birdies on his final two holes on the front side to make the turn at 3-under. Bryan moved to as low as five under on the back nine with back-to-back birdies on the 13th and 14th holes. However, he bogeyed 15 and 16 and made par on the final two holes to head into the clubhouse at 3-under.

Junior Dykes Harbin and freshman Sean Kelly each turned in a 1-over 73 to end the day in a tie for 27th. Both Harbin and Kelly made the turn at 1-under and had identical scores on the back side, as they each recorded one more birdie, three bogeys and five pars.

Freshmen Will Murphy and Caleb Sturgeon carded rounds of 79 (+7) and 80 (+8), respectively. Murphy is in a tie for 68th, while Sturgeon is in 73rd place.

Top-ranked Texas and Florida State share the lead heading into the second round after each shooting a 9-under 279 on Friday. Illinois is in third with a score of 284 (-4).

The Gamecocks will play in even tougher conditions on Friday, with winds expected to be between 20 and 30 mph. Carolina tees off at 8:50 a.m. on hole No. 10 and will be paired with IUPUI and San Diego. Live scoring will be available at

T5. Wesley Bryan 69 (-3)
T27. Dykes Harbin 73 (+1)
T27. Sean Kelly 73 (+1)
T68. Will Murphy 79 (+7)
73. Caleb Sturgeon 80 (+8)

T1. Florida State 279 (-9)
T1. Texas 279 (-9)
3. Illinois 284 (-4)
T4. St. Mary’s 286 (-2)
T4. Washington 286 (-2)
6. Oklahoma 287 (-1)
7. Arizona 289 (+1)
8. Georgia Tech 290 (+2)
9. Sacramento State 292 (+4)
10. South Carolina 294 (+6)
11. IUPUI 297 (+9)
12. San Diego 303 (+15)
13. Middle Tennessee St. 304 (+16)
14. Loyola-Chicago 307 (+19)