Second-Day Surge Thrusts Gamecocks into Hunt for Trip to NCAA Championship
May 19, 2006
ORLANDO, Fla. - The South Carolina men's golf team trimmed 11 strokes off its first-round total and surged into 12th-place Friday in the second round of the NCAA East Regional, played at Lake Nona Golf Club in Orlando. The Gamecocks counted a team score of 293, tied for the second-best team round of the day, and pushed their way into contention for a top-10 finish and a ticket to the NCAA Championship.
"Following a poor finish yesterday, the guys showed true grit today," head coach Puggy Blackmon said. "Despite only hitting three greens on the final nine (holes), Allen Koon shot a 72. Warren Thomas and Florian Fritsch played the final nine under par as counters. Eirik Johansen continues to play steady. The round today was a momentum builder going into the final round, but we'll have to play our best to make up a five-shot deficit and advance (to the NCAA Championship). This is a great experience for our young guys and I'm proud of their patience today."
After starting the second-round in 19th-place, Carolina sits six strokes out of the top-10 heading into Saturday's final 18 holes. The low 10 teams and two individuals not on those teams will earn a spot in the 2006 NCAA Championship, which begins on May 31 in Sunriver, Ore.
Senior captain and all-SEC first teamer Eirik Johansen (Stavanger, Norway) paces the Carolina contingent in a tie for 19th-place through the regional's first 36 holes. Johansen added a one-over par 73 to Thursday's first-round 74.
Freshman Allen Koon (Bamberg, S.C.) was the Gamecocks' biggest mover. After starting the day in a tie for 109th, Koon shot an even-par 72, seven strokes better than his opening round, and rose into a tie for 60th.
Sophomore Mark Anderson (Beaufort, S.C.) fired a 76 and rests in a tie for 50th entering the final round. Classmate Warren Thomas (Columbia, S.C.) and freshman Florian Fritsch are locked in a tie for 71st. Thomas posted a one-over par 73 in the second round, while Fritsch shot 75.
Defending National Champion and 2006 SEC Champion Georgia shot a 294 Friday and remained at the top of the team leader board. The Bulldogs are two-over par and two strokes ahead of second-place UNLV. Wake Forest is five-over and holds down the third-place slot.
USC tees off on Saturday at 8:05 a.m. ET from the 10th hole. The Gamecocks will play alongside 11th-place Georgia State and UCLA, who is tied for ninth. Live scoring is available online at www.golfstat.com. A direct link can be found at uscsports.com.
SOUTH CAROLINA INDIVIDUAL SCORES