Sept. 29, 2015
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – South Carolina men’s golf senior Sean Kelly led the Gamecocks with a 2-under 70 on the final day of the Shoal Creek Invitational in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday. Carolina finished the tournament in sixth place with a 54-hole total of 876 (+12).
The Gamecocks entered the day in a tie for second at 6-over (582) with North Florida and College of Charleston, all seven strokes behind tournament host UAB (-1, 575) after 36 holes. The Blazers ran away with the tournament on the final day, shooting 12-under to win by 15 strokes over North Florida. GRU Augusta finished in third place followed by Houston, College of Charleston, South Carolina, Washington, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Troy, Winthrop and West Virginia.
Kelly shot 2-over for the tournament after carding a pair of 74s in the first two rounds combined with his 70 today and took a tie for 12th-place on the individual leaderboard at 218. Classmate Matt NeSmith was the low man for the Gamecocks at the tournament for the second time this fall in as many events with a 216 (73-70-73) to finish even and tied for seventh.
Freshman Scott Stevens posted another top-20 finish to begin his career in a tie for 20th after taking a tie for 14th in his first event. Stevens shot 71 and 73 on the first two days to enter Tuesday at even par and recovered from a 3-over 39 on the front nine to shoot 1-over on the back for a 76 on his final day.
Senior Sean Kelly turned in his best round of the season with a 2-under 70 to lead the Gamecocks on the final day of the Shoal Creek Invitational. Kelly had seven pars and a pair of birdies on the front nine to shoot 34 (-2) and collected seven pars, one birdie and one bogey on the back to post an even 36.
Quoting Coach Bill McDonald
“We played very poorly today, especially down the closing stretch of holes. Hopefully, our guys will learn from this experience and use it to improve going forward. It’s my responsibility to prepare our young guys better and I did a poor job in that department this week. Congrats to UAB. They played great all week, especially the final round, and closed out the tournament like good teams do.”
- Senior Matt NeSmith has two top-10 finishes this season and 19 for his career, three shy of the school record held by Kyle Thompson. NeSmith holds sole possession of fourth place on the all-time career top-10s list and will tie Eirik Johansen and David Seawell for second with one more.
- Senior Sean Kelly scored his eighth career top-20 finish with a tie for 12th at Shoal Creek.
- Freshman Scott Stevens got his second top-20 finish in as many events as a Gamecock by finishing tied for 20th. He took home a tie for 14th in his first tournament, the Carpet Capital Collegiate.
- Stevens led the Gamecocks in par 3 scoring average for the tournament with a 2.92. NeSmith and Kelly both averaged 4.03 on par 4s to lead South Carolina and NeSmith had the top par 5 scoring average at 4.83.
- Freshman Ryan Stachler was a member of the Gamecocks’ five-man lineup for the first time in his career and had the most birdies for Carolina over the course of the tournament with 10.
- NeSmith’s 40 pars at Shoal Creek tied for third most in the event and led the Gamecocks.
South Carolina will take the next couple of weekends off from competition and get ready for the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational in Orlando, Fla., over Oct. 18-20 at Isleworth Golf & Country Club.