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Feb. 22, 2013

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HUMBLE, Texas — The South Carolina men’s golf team opened its spring schedule on Friday with a first-round 294 (+6) in the Bayou City Collegiate Championships at Redstone Golf Club.

The Gamecocks wrapped up the day in a three-way tie for ninth place with Houston and Houston Baptist. South Carolina is nine strokes back of tournament leader Texas. The third-ranked Longhorns posted a 3-under 285 to take the lead.

“We looked a little rusty today, but I’m encouraged by how well the guys looked overall,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “A good round tomorrow gets us right back in the tournament. I’m expecting good play out of our team the next two rounds.”

Sophomore Will Murphy carded the low round of the day for South Carolina, shooting an even-par 72 to finish the afternoon in a tie for 16th. A native of Columbia, S.C., Murphy played a steady round as he recorded two birdies, two bogeys and 14 pars to position himself in the top 20. Murphy is playing with confidence after earning his way into the lineup by finishing second at the Savannah Quarters Individual last week with a three-round total of 211 (-5), including a career-low 66.

Senior Dykes Harbin and sophomore Caleb Sturgeon, who each won a tournament title in the fall, both turned in a 1-over 73 on Friday to finish their rounds in a tie for 27th. Harbin was at 1-under heading into the final two holes but he made back-to-back bogeys to close out the day at 1-over. He wrapped up his round with two birdies, three bogeys and 13 pars. Heading into his final three holes, Sturgeon was at 2-over but he closed with birdies on his 16th and 18th holes and a bogey on the 17th to shoot a 73. Sturgeon recorded three birdies, four bogeys and 11 pars on the day.

Freshman Matt NeSmith is tied for 55th after shooting a 4-over 76, and fellow freshman Will Starke shot a 5-over 77 to finish the day in a tie for 63rd.

Baylor is one stroke back of Texas in second place after shooting a 2-under 286. Charlotte is in third with a 289 (+1), followed by Chattanooga (290), UT Arlington (290) and East Carolina (290). Texas’ Brax McCarthy heads into the second round with the individual lead after firing a 5-under 67 on Friday. He holds a one-shot lead over Houston’s Kyle Pilgrim (68).

Second-round play is slated to begin Saturday at 10 a.m., with golfers teeing off the first and 10th holes. Live results will be available here.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTST16. Will Murphy (5)     72 (E)T27. Dykes Harbin (1)       73 (+1)T27. Caleb Sturgeon (2)       73 (+1)T55. Matt NeSmith (3)           76 (+4)T63. Will Starke (4)     77 (+5)
TEAM STANDINGS1. Texas 285 (-3)2. Baylor 286 (-2)3. Charlotte 289 (+1)T4. Chattanooga 290 (+2)T4. UT Arlington 290 (+2)T4. East Carolina 290 (+2)7. Louisiana Tech 291 (+3)8. UTSA 292 (+4)T9. Houston 294 (+6)T9. South Carolina 294 (+6)T9. Houston Baptist 294 (+6)12. Lamar 295 (+7)13. 50 Indiana 296 (+8)14. New Mexico State 299 (+11)15. Rice 309 (+21)