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Feb. 23, 2013

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HUMBLE, Texas — The South Carolina men’s golf team fired a 2-under 286 on Saturday to make a move up the leaderboard in the second round of the Bayou City Collegiate Championships at Redstone Golf Club.

The Gamecocks, who posted the fourth lowest round of the day, climbed three spots into a tie for sixth place with Chattanooga with a total of 580 (+4). South Carolina will head into the final round 21 strokes back of tournament leader Texas (559) and eight shots back of second-place Baylor (572).

Sophomore Will Murphy continued his stretch of solid play by shooting a 3-under 69. He moved seven spots up the leaderboard into a tie for ninth with a total of 141 (-3). Murphy, who carded an even-par 72 in the first round, was 2-over through 10 holes on Saturday but he torched the final eight holes, playing them at 5-under with six birdies, a bogey and a par. A native of Columbia, S.C., Murphy enters the final round five strokes back of tournament leader Brax McCarthy of Texas, who has a two-round total of 136 (-8).

“I thought we looked much better today,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “The back nine Will Murphy had was incredible to watch. Hopefully, we can build on today and put together a low final round.”

Senior Dykes Harbin and sophomore Caleb Sturgeon kept a top-20 finish within reach after each shooting an even-par 72 in the second round. Both Harbin and Sturgeon are tied for 27th with a total of 145 (+1).

After recording nine pars on the front side to make the turn at even, Harbin birdied the 10th hole to move below par but he gave it right back with a bogey at the 11th. He found red numbers once again with a birdie on the par-3 16th, but a bogey on No. 18 left him at even heading into the clubhouse.

Sturgeon played the front nine at even par as well and went to 1-under with a birdie on the 10th. However, he bogeyed three of his next four holes to drop to 2-over. The bogeys didn’t affect his play down the stretch as he bounced back to birdie the 15th and 17th holes to get back to even par for the day.

Freshman Matt NeSmith, who carded a 1-over 73 on the afternoon, was on his way to finishing the day under par as he walked onto the 18th tee box at 1-under. However, he double bogeyed the final hole to finish the round at 1-over, leaving him in a tie for 51st with a total of 149 (+5).

Freshman Will Starke is tied for 74th with a total of 155 (+11) heading into Sunday after turning in a second-round 78 (+6). Starke recorded six bogeys and 12 pars on the day.

Third-ranked Texas holds a 13-shot lead. Baylor is in second with a total of 572 (-4), followed by Charlotte (574), Houston (576) and Louisiana Tech (578).

Final-round play is set to begin with a shotgun start on Sunday at 8:30 a.m. CT. Live results will be available here.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTST9. Will Murphy (5)      72-69=141 (-3)T27. Dykes Harbin (1)       73-72=145 (+1)T27. Caleb Sturgeon (2)       73-72=145 (+1)T51. Matt NeSmith (3)   76-73=149 (+5)T74. Will Starke (4)     77-78=155 (+11)
TEAM STANDINGS1. Texas 285-274=559 (-17)2. Baylor 286-286=572 (-4)3. Charlotte 289-285=574 (-2)4. Houston 294-282=576 (E)5. Louisiana Tech 291-287=578 (+2)T6. South Carolina 294-286=580 (+4)T6. Chattanooga 290-290=580 (+4)8. East Carolina 290-295=585 (+9)9. Lamar 295-292=587 (+11)T10. UTSA 292-296=588 (+12)T10. New Mexico State 299-289=588 (+12)12. UT Arlington 290-299=589 (+13)13. Houston Baptist 294-296=590 (+14)14. Indiana 296-297=593 (+17)15. Rice 309-301=610 (+34)