Gamecocks Tied for 36-Hole Lead at Schenkel E-Z-Go Invite
March 21, 2009
STATESBORO, Ga. - With an even-par round of 288 in Saturday's second round, the South Carolina men's golf team holds a share of the tournament lead heading into Sunday's final 18 holes of the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, Ga. The Gamecocks are tied with SEC rival Florida at 3-over-par through two rounds.
"We got off to a rough start and kind of battled back," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "The guys played particularly well on the back nine, (Mark) Silvers and George Bryan in particular. And I'm proud of my two freshmen (Wesley Bryan and Sam Braver). For their first time here they negotiated themselves fairly well around the course."
George Bryan IV, the tournament's defending champion, got himself back to level par for the tournament with a round of 70 (-2) Saturday. Bryan got off to a tough start with a front-nine 38 that included four bogeys, but he acquitted himself in a hurry on the back side with a bogey-free 32 that included four birdies to finish in red figures. Bryan is at even par for the tournament and tied for 11th place with eight other competitors, four shots out of the lead.
Senior Mark Silvers III had the round of the day for the Gamecocks, firing a 3-under 69 to get to 2-over for the weekend. Silvers bogeyed the par-4 5th hole and was 1-over through six holes, but was bogey-free over his final 12 holes and carded four birdies in that stretch to get to 3-under with one of seven rounds under 70 on the day. Silvers is tied for 23rd after being in 66th place Friday.
Freshmen Sam Braver and Wesley Bryan are both in good shape after rounds of 74 and 75, respectively. Braver started off with a pair of bogeys on holes 5 and 6, but then birdies at the 7th and 12th got him back to even par on the day. He would finish with two more bogeys to turn in a 2-over 74. Braver stands in a tie for 20th at 1-over through two rounds. Wesley Bryan had a strong round aside from two disastrous double bogeys on the front nine, but managed to settle down with a 35 on the back side to finish at 3-over on the day. Bryan is tied for 23rd at 2-over. Junior Patrick Rada fired a nearly identical round to his effort on Friday with a 3-over 75 that featured a birdie and four bogeys.
The Gamecocks and Gators are tied for the tournament lead with eight teams standing within striking distance, less than 10 shots behind. First-day leader Tennessee is one shot back at 4-over after a 5-over-par 293 Saturday, and NC State is in fourth at 6-over.
Three players share the tournament lead at 4-under heading into Sunday's final round. Augusta State's Taylor Floyd, NC State's Matt Hill and Florida's Tim McKenney all sit atop the leaderboard with LSU's Sang Yi one stroke back at 3-under.
"I don't think I've ever seen a field this stacked up going into a final round," McDonald said. "I think, as usual, it will come down to the back nine. It should be an exciting day."
South Carolina will be paired with Florida and Tennessee as the last group to go off of the No. 1 tee Sunday morning with tee times starting at 9:39 a.m. Live results can be seen by visiting golfstat.com.