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Sept. 29, 2013

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VERONA, Wis. — Junior Caleb Sturgeon fired a 7-under 65 in the first round of the Badger Invitational on Sunday to help the South Carolina men’s golf team take the lead at University Ridge Golf Course.

The Gamecocks hold a four-stroke lead over USC Upstate with a total of 282 (-6). Sturgeon sits atop the individual leaderboard with a four-shot lead over Xavier’s Matt Gerard, who shot a 69 (-3). Sturgeon’s round matches a career low and is a University Ridge men’s collegiate course record as well as a Badger Invitational record.

“We played well today, and I’m very proud of Caleb for his effort,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “We need to come out aggressive again tomorrow and play with the same intensity we displayed today.”

A native of Laurens, S.C., Sturgeon is one of three Gamecocks in the top 20. Sophomore Matt NeSmith and junior Will Murphy are in a tie for 18th after each shooting an even-par 72 on Sunday.

Making his first collegiate start, freshman Ben Dietrich carded a 1-over 73 and is in a tie for 27th, while sophomore Will Starke is in a tie for 77th after posting a 77 (+5).

Xavier, Missouri-Kansas City and Illinois State are tied for third after shooting a 1-under 287, followed by Austin Peay (290) and Kanas State (290).

The Gamecocks will be paired with Wisconsin and Marquette in the second round and will tee off beginning at 9:45 a.m. on Monday. Live scoring is not available for this tournament, but results will be posted at after each round.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS1. Caleb Sturgeon 65 (-7)T18. Matt NeSmith   72 (E)T18. Will Murphy 72 (E)T27. Ben Dietrich   73 (+1)T58. Will Starke 77 (+5)
TEAM STANDINGS1. South Carolina 282 (-6)2. USC Upstate 286 (-2)T3. Xavier 287 (-1)T3. Missouri-Kansas City287 (-1)T3. Illinois State 287 (-1)T6. Austin Peay 290 (+2)T6. Kansas 290 (+2)8. Marquette 291 (+3)9. Charleston Southern 292 (+4)10. Wofford 293 (+5)11. Wisconsin 295 (+7)12. Rutgers 298 (+10)13. Northern Illinois 302 (+14)