No. 10 Gamecocks Return to Action in Myrtle Beach
March 7, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's 10th-ranked men's golf team will tee it up for the first time this spring when they travel to Myrtle Beach for the General Jim Hackler Invitational, hosted by Coastal Carolina University at the TPC Myrtle Beach. Four of the usual suspects will be in the lineup for South Carolina, plus a senior seeing his first tournament action of the year.
"We are excited to finally be getting our spring season underway," head coach Bill McDonald said. "The General Hackler field is very strong and the TPC Myrtle Beach golf course will be a challenge as well. I know that our team is excited to be playing in a golf tournament after a very competitive month of qualifying."
Senior Baker Elmore will be making his first tournament appearance of the season for the Gamecocks after a strong showing in the team's qualifying rounds over the past several weeks. The native of Cheraw, S.C., will compete in a varsity tournament for the first time since the 2006-07 season when he played in four events. His Carolina career is highlighted by a fourth-place finish at the 2007 Schenkel E-Z-Go Invite.
"I am very proud of one of our seniors, Baker Elmore, for stepping up and earning a spot in the lineup," McDonald said. "We have a good blend of youth and experience on this team and I am looking forward to watching them compete."
Joining Elmore in the lineup will be George Bryan IV and Wesley Bryan, who were ranked in the world's top 100 in the most recent World Amateur Golf Rankings, which were released this week by the Royal & Ancient. George, a junior, is ranked 72nd in the world, while younger brother Wesley, a freshman for the Gamecocks, is rated 49th worldwide. In addition, 2008 Carolina graduate Mark Anderson is ranked 34th.
Also competing this weekend for the Gamecocks are senior Mark Silvers III and junior Paul Woodbury. Silvers is third on the team with a 73.67 stroke average in four tournaments, just slightly behind the Bryan brothers. His fall season was highlighted by a fourth-place showing at the Mason Rudolph Invitational and a seventh-place finish at the Rees Jones Intercollegiate, both tournaments in which South Carolina earned a team title. Woodbury earned his first individual medal in the team's final fall tournament at the Rees Jones Intercollegiate, sharing the title with Wesley Bryan after carding a hole-in-one en route to a 2-over 218.
A strong field awaits the Gamecocks as 11 of the 14 participating teams are ranked in the latest GolfWeek Top 50. Headlining the field is No. 8 Illinois, the only participating team ranked ahead of the Gamecocks. Also competing will be No. 22 UCLA, No. 27 East Tennessee State, No. 32 Lamar, No. 34 Wake Forest, No. 35 NC State, No. 36 Duke, No. 38 Pepperdine, No. 41 Augusta State, No. 50 Coastal Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio State and North Carolina.
First-round play gets underway Sunday morning with 36 holes on tap for the first day of competition. Tee times will be posted at golfstat.com when they become available, and Gamecock fans can follow the tournament at the same site.