Four Gamecocks Open Play at Savannah Quarters Intercollegiate
Feb. 9, 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Four South Carolina men’s golfers will open play at the 2014 Savannah Quarters Intercollegiate on Monday on the Greg Norman Signature Course at Savannah Quarters Country Club in Pooler, Ga.
Senior Alan King, junior Blaine Woodruff and freshmen Kieron Fowler and Ben Dietrich are set to represent the Gamecocks at the 54-hole event, which will consist of 36 holes of play on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. The tournament is not a team event and will only have an individual champion.
“Our guys have been working really hard to get ready for our spring season, and this is just another opportunity for some of them to sharpen their abilities,” South Carolina assistant coach Alex Hamilton said. “We have four guys heading down to Savannah to compete against some great college players. Our team has been playing some great golf in qualifying recently, and I expect that to continue down in Savannah. Savannah Quarters is an excellent golf course that will provide our guys with a test that will help with our decisions regarding the lineup to start the spring.”
The Gamecocks are coming off one of the most successful fall seasons in program history, which included back-to-back tournament wins and a runner-up finish. South Carolina heads into the spring schedule with a 43-10-1 head-to-head record.
After finishing runner-up at the Rees Jones Invitational in September, South Carolina won the Badger Invitational by 24 strokes, with junior Caleb Sturgeon claiming medalist honors with a total of 206 (-10) to lead the way. The Gamecocks then wrapped up their fall schedule with a 22-stroke victory at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic, giving the program back-to-back tournament wins for the first time since the 2003-04 season. Sophomore Matt NeSmith led the charge at Turtle Point, finishing runner up with a total of 212 (-4).
Dietrich played in three tournaments for the Gamecocks in the fall and enters the spring with a stroke average of 75.22. The Bluffton, S.C., native’s best finish was a 12th-place showing at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic. Woodruff competed in two events for South Carolina, with his best finish being a tie for 48th showing at the Rees Jones Invitational. King made his first career appearance for the Gamecocks at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic and finished the event in a tie for 76th. Fowler will be making his first career appearance in Garnet and Black on Monday.
“Being able to get our guys into a real tournament format instead of just qualifying is huge,” Hamilton said. “There is always a difference between playing against just your teammates and playing against players from all over the Southeast.”
First-round play begins with a shotgun start on Monday at 8:30 a.m., with the second round beginning immediately after the first round ends. Live scoring is not available for this event.