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Sept. 23, 2013

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DAUFUSKIE ISLAND, S.C. — The South Carolina men’s golf team posted the lowest round of the afternoon on Monday at the Rees Jones Invitational, shooting a second-round 290 (+2) at Haig Point Club.

The Gamecocks’ solid day moved them up the leaderboard into third place with a two-round total of 588 (+12), earning a spot in the final group for Tuesday’s third round. South Carolina will be joined by South Florida and Kennesaw State. The Bulls lead the tournament with a total of 583 (+7), while the Owls are in second with a total of 587 (+11).

With a low day needed to get back in the title hunt, junior Caleb Sturgeon came up big for South Carolina as he matched the tournament record with a 4-under 68 to finish the round in a tie for seventh with a total of 145 (+1). The Laurens, S.C., native carded a bogey-free 34 on his front nine and was near flawless on the back, recording his only bogey on the par-4 sixth.

Two more Gamecocks will be playing for a top-10 finish on Tuesday. Sophomore Matt NeSmith carded his second-straight 72 (E) to wrap up the afternoon in a tie for fourth with a total of 144 (E). A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith was 3-over through 15 holes but he closed out his round with three consecutive birdies to get into the clubhouse at even par. Junior Will Murphy also finished the round in the top 10 as he turned in a 2-over 74. Murphy is tied for 10th with a total of 146 (+2) after registering three birdies and five bogeys on the day.

Playing as an individual, freshman Ben Dietrich is in contention for a top-20 finish as he posted a 3-over 75 to finish the round in a tie for 20th with a total of 148 (+4).

Junior Blaine Woodruff shot a 4-over 76 and is tied for 46th with a total of 155 (+11), while sophomore Will Starke is tied for 52nd with a total of 156 (+12) after shooting a 79 (+7) on Monday.

UNC Wilmington and East Carolina round out the top-five teams with totals of 589 (+13) and 590 (+14), respectively, while Troy is also within 10 strokes of the lead in sixth place with a total of 593 (+17). South Florida’s Chase Koepka sits atop the individual leaderboard with a total of 138 (-6) after shooting a 2-under 70 on Monday.

South Carolina will tee off in the final round at 9:40 on Tuesday and will be paired with South Florida and Kennesaw State. Live scoring will be available at

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTST4. Matt NeSmith (3)        72-72=144 (E)T7. Caleb Sturgeon (2)        77-68=145 (+1)T10. Will Murphy (4)     72-74=146 (+2)T46. Blaine Woodruff (5) 79-76=155 (+11)T52. Will Starke (1)     77-79=156 (+12)
TEAM STANDINGS1. South Florida 286-297=583 (+7)2. Kennesaw State 290-297=587 (+11)3. South Carolina 298-290=588 (+12)4. UNCW 296-293=589 (+13)5. East Carolina 298-292=590 (+14)6. Troy 299-294=593 (+17)7. Liberty 291-305=596 (+20)8. Charlotte 291-306=597 (+21)9. Middle Tennessee St. 299-300=599 (+23)10. Georgia State 304-299=603 (+27)11. Winthrop 307-301=608 (+32)12. Charleston Southern 311-308=619 (+43)