Feb. 10, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s golf team will have four golfers competing at the 2013 Savannah Quarters Individual Intercollegiate, beginning Monday on the Greg Norman Signature Course at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga.
With the tournament being for individuals only, Gamecock head coach Bill McDonald and associate head coach Don Hill are using this opportunity as a unique qualifier for the fifth spot for South Carolina’s first team tournament of the spring, the Bayou City Collegiate Championships (Feb. 22-24 in Houston, Texas).
“A lot of these guys are familiar names to people who follow Gamecock golf,” Hill said. “They’ve all competed in certain lineups last year and even this fall. College golf is a search for five players. We feel like we have a lot of depth here at South Carolina and can do some great things with that depth. We are going through a series of qualifications to determine our starting five, which every team does and they do it in a different way. This was a great opportunity for us to put four guys in competition. They get to play live golf against other great college competition.”
The Gamecocks are looking to keep momentum going from one of the best fall seasons in recent program history. South Carolina had medalists in back-to-back tournaments for the first time since 1993, as senior Dykes Harbin won the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic and sophomore Caleb Sturgeon claimed the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic title to close out the fall schedule. As a team the Gamecocks also claimed their first tournament title since 2009, cruising to a 20-stroke victory at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic.
Hester, Moore, Murphy and Kelly have all played in two tournaments for South Carolina this season. Hester tied for 13th as an individual at the Rees Jones Invitational and finished tied for 50th at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic. He has posted a stroke average of 75.83 this season. A native of Isle of Palms, S.C., Moore made the lineup for both the Carpet Capital Collegiate (T-45th) and Wendy’s Kiawah Classic (T-49th) and has a season stroke average of 75.50. Murphy, who also has a scoring average of 75.50, tied for 15th at the Rees Jones Invitational and tied for 35th at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic. Kelly, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., has a stroke average of 77.50 after finishing tied for 68th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and 42nd at the Rees Jones Invitational.
“The guys have worked extremely hard during workouts to start the season,” Hill said. “The winter time is the only time they get a chance to really take a break where they can spend some time with family and relax a little bit. I don’t get the feeling that this group of four did that. I think they worked really hard in the offseason. All of these guys have done things on their own to help them prepare for the spring and help us compete at a high level.”
The four Gamecocks will be playing against a field of 45 golfers from Alabama, Chattanooga, Florida State, Georgia Southern, North Florida, Mercer, Liberty and USC Beaufort. Live scoring will not be available for the tournament.