Men's Golf to Defend Title at Rees Jones Intercollegiate
Oct. 4, 2009
COLUMBIA, S.C. - For the second straight week, the South Carolina men's golf team will look to defend a tournament title as they make the short trek to the Lowcountry for the Rees Jones Intercollegiate, which will be played Monday and Tuesday at Haig Point on Daufuskie Island, S.C. It's the third of four fall tournaments for the Gamecocks, and they aim to stay on a roll after tying for first place at last weekend's Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate just outside of Nashville, Tenn.
While the University of South Carolina is not the host school for the event (that title belongs to Michigan State), it is the first one this season in the state of South Carolina for the Gamecocks. And for the third straight event, all five competitors in this week's lineup are natives of the Palmetto State. Coach Bill McDonald will send out the same lineup of seniors George Bryan IV (Chapin), Patrick Rada (Anderson) and Paul Woodbury (Lake City) to go along with sophomore Wesley Bryan (Chapin) and redshirt freshman Clint Tolleson (Spartanburg).
Rada enters the week rated third in the Southeastern Conference with a stroke average of 70.20 through five rounds. He has shot four straight rounds below par, including two straight in the 60s heading into the this week. Bryan IV and Woodbury are tied for ninth in the league with a 72.20 average. On the year, the Gamecocks have posted a 71.40 individual average and a 285.60 team average in its two tournaments so far.
Four of the five Gamecocks in the lineup played in this event last year, with Wesley Bryan and Woodbury sharing medalist honors in the tournament. The younger Bryan and Woodbury shot matching 74s on the final day last year to finish at 218 (+2) and share the tournament title, a career first for both players. George Bryan IV finished fourth at 4-over, and Mark Silvers III tied for seventh place at 8-over.
Last year's event was also the site of Woodbury's first career hole-in-one. In the second round, he hit what he termed a "perfectly cut" 5-iron and aced the 193-yard fifth hole, which propelled him to the tournament lead.
As for the team, the Gamecocks won last year's event by a whopping 21 strokes, shooting 291-290-298-879 (+15) to outpace San Diego State and Georgia State, who both finished at 900 (+36).
For the first and maybe only time this season, the Gamecocks are the only SEC school in the field. In fact, only three Division I FBS schools are competing this week - Carolina, Michigan State and San Jose State. The Atlantic Sun sends three members in Jacksonville, Kennesaw State and Mercer, and in-state rivals College of Charleston and Winthrop will also be in the field, as well as Georgia State, UNC Wilmington, Pepperdine, San Jose State and Tennessee State.
Play gets underway with 36 holes on Monday, beginning with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. The Gamecocks are paired with Michigan State and Jacksonville for the first round. Fans can follow live results through golfstat.com.