Gamecocks Tied for Third After Four Rounds in the 60s
May 14, 2009
SORRENTO, Fla. - South Carolina shot an 11-under-par 273 in the opening round of the NCAA Southeast Men's Golf Regional and stands tied for third place in the 14-team field with the first round of play at the par-71 RedTail Golf Club finally complete. The Gamecocks' final group was the last pairing to hole out on the 18th green before play was suspended for nearly four hours due to inclement weather. Wesley Bryan and Patrick Rada turned in season-best rounds to lead South Carolina on the opening day of regional play.
Freshman Wesley Bryan led the way for the Gamecocks with a bogey-free round of 67 (-4). It was Bryan's best collegiate round by two strokes, besting three rounds of 69 for the younger of the two Bryan brothers during the 2008-09 season. Bryan started off hot with a birdie at the first, then carded five straight pars before another birdie at the par-5 seventh, making the turn with a 2-under 33. After pars at 10 and 11, Bryan then posted another birdie at the par-5 12th, then did some nice scrambling over the next few holes to card five consecutive pars. He would then drain a 10-footer for birdie at the last for his round of 67, which has him tied for seventh overall.
Junior Patrick Rada also had his best round of the year, a 3-under-par 68 that equaled a career-best. After a bogey at the lengthy par-4 second hole - the hole plays as a par-5 for the members - Rada ran off a string of three birdies in five holes to make the turn at 2-under. He then carded six straight pars before another birdie at 14, followed by a bogey-birdie-birdie string coming to the 18th. A three-putt from 15 feet left him with a closing bogey but a strong round nonetheless. Rada is tied for 10th heading into the second round.
George Bryan IV and Mark Silvers both shot 69 (-2), giving the Gamecocks four individuals in the 60s for the first time this season. Bryan showed off his scrambling ability early on with three straight pars to open his round, then made birdie at the par-3 fourth to get to 1-under. He gave that one back with a bogey at the sixth, but then got it right back on the following hole and made the turn at 1-under. Birdies at 10 and 12 got him to 3-under, but then a pair of bogeys at 13 and 16 dropped him back. He would have an opportunity for eagle at the 17th, but settled for birdie to finish at 2-under for the day. Silvers had a strong round with only one disastrous hole - a double-bogey at the 14th, but three birdies over his final four holes erased the miscue as he signed for a 69 as well. Silvers and Bryan are tied for 14th through one round.
Freshman Sam Braver had a mostly consistent round with a double-bogey at the second and two bogeys and a birdie on the back nine to finish with a 74 (+3), his best round since the second day of the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
Play was suspended just before 2 p.m., only moments after George Bryan had holed out on the 18th to complete the round for South Carolina. The teams still on the course resumed play around 5:45 p.m. and finished just before dark.
Ideal course conditions and soft greens led to low scores throughout the first day. Tournament host UCF was lights-out with a 268 (-16) on the first day to lead the tournament, but Arizona was almost as hot with a 270 (-14) to stand only two strokes back. The Gamecocks and Charlotte are tied for third at 273 (-11).
InIndividually, Arizona's Tarquin MacManus was incredible with a 63 (-8) to lead the field by two shots. Charlotte's Corey Nagy is second after a 65 (-6), and a group of four players is tied for third at 5-under.
The Gamecocks will be in Friday's final pairing with UCF and Arizona, the first group of which goes off the first tee at 9:40 a.m. Live results can be followed through golfstat.com.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T7. Wesley Bryan - 67 (-4) T10. Patrick Rada - 68 (-3) T14. Mark Silvers III - 69 (-2) T14. George Bryan IV - 69 (-2) T60. Sam Braver - 74 (+3)