No. 15 Gamecocks Open Season at Carpet Capital
Sept. 10, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - The South Carolina men's golf team, ranked 15th in the preseason Golf World/Nike Golf Coaches Poll, will tee it up for the first time this weekend at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, which will be held at The Farm Golf Club just outside of Dalton, Ga. The 54-hole medal play tournament runs Friday through Sunday.
This year marks the 21st edition of the Carpet Capital tournament, and South Carolina has competed in 18 of the previous 20 times the event has been contested, dating back to 1989. The Gamecocks have had great success at the event in recent years, tying for first place in 2007 and earning a third-place finish last year.
"We always enjoy going back to the Carpet Capital Collegiate," Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "The Farm Golf Club always presents a challenge, and the past two years have been very exciting for us over there. The field is somewhat smaller this year, but it is still loaded, as always, with excellent teams."
Twelve schools will compete in this year's event, including five others from the SEC in Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee. In-state rival Clemson is also playing, as well as host Georgia Tech. The rest of the field includes Chattanooga, East Tennessee State, Texas Tech and Wake Forest. Eight of the 12 teams in the field competed in the NCAA Championship last season.
All five competitors in this week's 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 Gamecock lineup consists of seniors George Bryan IV (Chapin) and Patrick Rada (Anderson), sophomore Wesley Bryan (Chapin), junior Paul Woodbury (Lake City) and redshirt freshman Clint Tolleson (Spartanburg). It will be George Bryan's fourth time at The Farm; he finished third in the 2007 event. For Wesley Bryan and Woodbury, it will be their second trips to Dalton as both played the event last season. Rada will also make his second trip after playing in the event as a true freshman in 2006, and Tolleson will be playing in his first collegiate tournament.
"I am very excited for Clint Tolleson, our redshirt freshman, to get his college career underway as well," McDonald said. "I look for us to play well based upon our experienced lineup, and our goal is to be in contention going into the back nine the last day. With reachable par 5s and tough par 4s, the back nine can produce a variety of exciting scenarios to the players and coaches."
Last year, senior Allen Koon led then-No. 19 South Carolina to third place at the Carpet Capital as the Gamecocks shot 285 (-3) in the final round to finish the tournament at 5-over 870 (294-291-285), two strokes ahead of Clemson and just one back of Tennessee. Koon shot 73-70-70=213 (-3) to tie for second place while Mark Silvers III finished at 217 (+1). Wesley Bryan (+4), George Bryan IV (+10) and Paul Woodbury (+17) also competed for the Gamecocks.
The Gamecocks are paired with Georgia Tech and Alabama for the first two rounds and will begin play on the No. 1 tee at 9 a.m. Friday. Live scoring is available through golfstat.com.