Gamecocks Lead After Day One of Mason Rudolph Invitational
Sept. 26, 2008
FRANKLIN, Tenn. - Four Gamecocks shot even par or better as the No. 8 South Carolina's men's golf team picked right up where it left off last week, firing a collective 3-under 281 to grab the first-day lead at the Mason Rudolph Invitational at the Vanderbilt Legends Club just outside Nashville.
"It was a solid effort from everybody," Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "The wind picked up a little on the back nine and made things a little more firm. I'm proud of the guys, they played very well. This course is in great shape, the greens are just the perfect speed. It's a fun course to play; there are a lot of risk-reward holes out there."
Junior George Bryan IV led the charge with a 2-under 69, rebounding in a huge way from a disastrous 81 in last week's final round at the Carpet Capital. Bryan briefly held the lead at 3-under after birdies at holes 3, 5 and 10, but fell back after a pair of bogeys on the back nine. A birdie 4 at the par-5 18th, however, got the senior back to 2-under and part of a six-way tie for fifth place overall.
Carolina got another round under par from senior Mark Silvers III, who went bogey-free over his last 10 holes to post a 1-under-par 70. Silvers had two birdies and two bogeys on the front side, but a birdie at the par-3 11th preceded seven straight pars to leave him in red figures and tied for 11th headed into the weekend.
Allen Koon, who posted a third-place finish last week in Dalton, Ga., and Patrick Rada, making his first appearance of the 2008-09 season, both fired even-par 71s to keep the Gamecocks under par as a team and tie for 16th individually. Rada got off to a hot start with two birdies in his first seven holes, but a double bogey-bogey finish to the front nine left him at 1-over. The junior would recover with birdies at the 14th and 16th to get back to red numbers, but a bogey 6 at the 18th dropped him back to level par. Koon started off well with a birdie on No. 1, but a bogey at the 3rd and six straight pars left him even at the turn. He then carded two birdies and two bogeys on the back to remain even for the day.
It was a tough day for freshman Wesley Bryan, who had a triple-bogey and a double-bogey en route to a 79 (+8). The younger Bryan enters the weekend tied for 81st.
Western Carolina's Caleb Marsh and Arkansas State's Tyler Thompson share the first-round individual lead as each fired a 5-under 66. In the team competition, the Gamecocks are two shots clear of host Vanderbilt with Arkansas State another shot back at even par.
Play continues Saturday at the Vanderbilt Legends Club for the Gamecocks. Carolina will likely tee off in the third wave of teams, which will begin at approximately 10:35 a.m. Eastern time. The latest tee times and pairings will be posted on golfstat.com as they become available.