No. 11 Gamecocks Look to Defend Title at Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational
March 18, 2010
COLUMBIA, S.C. - No. 11/13 South Carolina has a repeat on its mind this week as the Gamecocks look to defend their title at the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, which begins Friday at Forest Heights Golf Club in Statesboro, Ga. The Gamecocks come into the event having posted runner-up finishes in their last two events and with top-5 showings in five of six tournaments during the 2009-10 season.
Seniors Paul Woodbury and George Bryan IV will look for a big week in Statesboro, one via momentum and the other from historical success. Woodbury won last week's Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Fla., his second victory of the season and the third of his career. Bryan IV - who leads the team with a 72.66 stroke average on the season - has owned the par 72, 6,962-yard Forest Heights Country Club in recent years, winning the 2008 Schenkel and finishing as runner-up last year.
The Gamecocks have been strong recently at this event, taking a two-stroke victory last season over Tennessee and North Carolina State with a score of 865 (+1). Tied for the lead entering the last round, Carolina fired a 2-under-par 286 to earn their third team victory of the season. Then-junior Bryan IV led the way with a runner-up finish at 212 (-4), three strokes behind NC State's Matt Hill, the eventual NCAA Champion. Two years ago, Bryan IV was the individual medalist at the event as the Gamecocks finished third.
As in every prior event this season, all five competitiors in this week's starting lineup will not only be playing for the Gamecocks, but also for state pride as the entire Carolina lineup is native to the Palmetto State. The five competitors for the Gamecocks in the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational will be senior George Bryan IV (Chapin), senior Patrick Rada (Anderson), sophomore Wesley Bryan (Chapin), senior Paul Woodbury (Lake City) and redshirt freshman Clint Tolleson (Spartanburg).
As usual, the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational will feature a strong field that includes nine teams ranked in the latest GolfWeek Top 50. Florida at No. 8 headlines the opposition, followed by No. 23 North Florida, No. 24 Alabama, No. 26 Virginia, No. 27 LSU, No. 28 Tennessee, No. 36 NC State and No. 49 Auburn. SEC foes Kentucky and Ole Miss are also in the field, along with Louisville, North Carolina, Vanderbilt and host Georgia Southern.
South Carolina will be making its 29th appearance in this event, which will be played for the 31st time since 1971. The Gamecocks have nine all-time top-five finishes - including its championship last year - and nine individuals have posted top-10 showings over the years, including victories by Bryan IV in 2008 and Mark Anderson in 2005.
The 11th-ranked Gamecocks will be paired with host Georgia Southern and LSU for the first round, which gets underway at 9 a.m. Friday. Live results can be followed through GolfStat.com, and full tournament information can be obtained at schenkelinvitational.com.