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July 17, 2015

WEST POINT, Miss. – South Carolina senior Matt NeSmith fired a 5-under 66 on Friday to move into a tie for fifth at the 109th Southern Amateur Championship at Old Waverly Golf Club.

NeSmith, who is coming off a win at the Players Amateur, is just three strokes back of tournament leader Jarryd Felton with a total of 206 (-7). Felton holds the 54-hole lead with a total of 203 (-10). Fellow Gamecock senior Will Starke is also inside the top 15 as he carded a 70 (-1) to move into a tie for 14th with a total of 208 (-5).

A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith made his only mistake of the day early in the round as he bogeyed the par-4 second hole to drop to 1-under for the tournament. After recording par on the next five holes, he caught fire and strung together five-straight birdies to get to 6-under. He wrapped up his round in strong fashion with a birdie on the par-4 18th to get into the clubhouse in 5-under on the day and 7-under for the tournament.

Starke was 1-over on the day through eight holes before reeling off birdies on holes nine, 10 and 11 to move to 6-under for the tournament. He gave back a shot with a bogey on the par-5 15th before tallying a par on the final three holes to finish the round in 1-under and 5-under for the championship.

Starke is slated to tee off in the final round on Saturday at 8:30 a.m., while NeSmith will go off the first tee at 9:10.

At Concord, N.C., former South Carolina standouts Dykes Harbin and Caleb Sturgeon wrapped up a solid week on the eGolf Gateway Tour on Friday with top-three finishes at the Cabarrus Classic at Cabarrus Country Club.

Harbin, who played for the Gamecocks from 2009-13, posted a final-round 70 (-2) to finish runner-up with a 54-hole total of 202 (-14). Sturgeon, who wrapped up his Gamecock career in June, tied for third with a total of 205 (-11) after shooting a 3-under 69 in the final round.

Cory Nagy won the tournament with a total of 198 (-18).