July 22, 2015
COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina’s Sean Kelly, Matt NeSmith, Will Starke and Caleb Sturgeon have been named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholars, the Golf Coaches Association of America announced Wednesday.
Sturgeon receives the honor for the second time, while Kelly, NeSmith and Starke are first-time honorees. The four Gamecocks are among 206 Division I golfers honored. To be eligible for Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar status an individual must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 50 percent of his team’s competitive rounds or compete in the NCAA Championship, have a stroke average under 76 and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2.
A native of Staten Island, N.Y., Kelly was a redshirt junior in 2014-15 and played in 11 tournaments for the Gamecocks. He recorded five top-20 finishes on the season, including a tie for 20th finish at the NCAA Bremerton Regional, and posted a stroke average of 72.71.
A third-team PING and Golfweek All-American and first-team All-SEC and PING All-Southeast Region selection, NeSmith finished with a season stroke average of 70.51, which ranks second in program history. He finished in the top 20 in eight of 12 tournaments, including two tournament wins. A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith became just the second Gamecock to win an SEC title as he claimed a six-stroke victory at the SEC Championship with a school-record 54-hole total of 196 (-14).
Starke, a second-team PING and Golfweek All-American and first-team PING All-Southeast Region selection, led the team with a stroke average of 70.27, which is the lowest for a single season in school history. He finished 16th or better in 10 of 12 events this season, including one tournament win, and matched the school record for top-five finishes in a season with six. He placed 16th at the NCAA Championship with a 72-hole total of 289 (+1).
Sturgeon wrapped up his Gamecock career with a career stroke average of 72.90, which is the fifth lowest career average in school history. During his senior campaign, he played in all 12 tournaments and had a stroke average of 72.49. A native of Laurens, S.C., Sturgeon recorded four top-20 finishes, including a pair of top-five showings.