No. 11 Gamecocks Head to SEC Championship
April 16, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's men's golf team will look to win its fourth tournament title of the season and its first Southeastern Conference crown as the 11th-ranked Gamecocks head to St. Simons Island, Ga., for the SEC Championship at the Frederica Club.
Last season, the Gamecocks rallied for a second-place finish at the Frederica Club with four players finishing in the top 15 of the individual standings. The Gamecocks shot their tournament-best round of 278 on the final day to move past Georgia and Florida with a 54-hole total of 861 (-3), the lowest SEC Championship score in school history. Then-sophomore George Bryan IV turned in a second-place finish, the best SEC Championship showing for a Gamecock since Kyle Thompson finished in the same spot in 1999.
For the fourth straight tournament, South Carolina will send out a lineup of George Bryan IV, Mark Silvers III, Patrick Rada, Wesley Bryan and Sam Braver. This lineup has produced one tournament title at the Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational and a third-place finish at the Hootie at Bulls Bay.
Bryan IV, who has two runner-up finishes this year, will look for a performance similar to his runner-up showing last year. Silvers and Rada also played in last year's championship, the first at the Frederica Club. Silvers, now a senior competing in his final SEC Championship, turned in a final-round 68 in last year's event to climb from 26th to seventh place on the final day to give the Gamecocks two players in the top 10 since West Streib and Eirik Johansen took eighth and 10th place, respectively, in 2003. Rada finished 48th overall in last year's championship. Freshmen Wesley Bryan and Sam Braver will be competing in their first SEC Championship.
Alabama is the defending team champion after firing a blistering 275 (-13) in the final round to finish at 853 (-11), eight strokes ahead of the Gamecocks. The Crimson Tide's Michael Thompson won the 2008 individual title by four strokes.
The Frederica Club, designed by famed course architect Tom Fazio, opened in 2005. The course will play to par 72 at 7,217 yards. The SEC Men's Golf Championship has been played at St. Simons Island since 2001 with Georgia winning three of the eight championships. Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee have each won one conference title during that time. Last year, the tournament moved from the Sea Island Golf Club to the Frederica Club for the first time. The Frederica Club is a unique layout with dramatic elevation changes.
Live results and tee times will be available through golfstat.com, and complete results and recaps will be available through secsports.com.