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March 8, 2016


Will Starke
Round 1: 70
Round 2: 66
Round 3: 69
To Par: -5
Place: 3rd
Matt NeSmith
Round 1: 67
Round 2: 67
Round 3: 69
To Par: -7
Place: Medalist
Scott Stevens
Round 1: 72
Round 2: 67
Round 3: 70
To Par: -1
Place: t6th
Keenan Huskey
Round 1: 71
Round 2: 68
Round 3: 71
To Par: E
Place: 10th
Will Miles
Round 1: 68
Round 2: 66
Round 3: 75
To Par: -1
Place: t6th
Team Standings
Pos. Team R1 R2 R3 Total
1. South Carolina 276 266 279 821 (-19)
2. Virginia 283 273 283 839 (-1)
3. Augusta 280 292 285 857 (+17)
t4. East Carolina 293 280 288 861 (+21)
t4. Chattanooga 289 290 282 861 (+21)
t6. Georgia Southern 288 291 284 863 (+23)
t6. NC State 294 282 287 863 (+23)
8. Furman 290 293 281 864 (+24)
9. Liberty 299 282 289 870 (+30)
10. Maryland 289 291 297 877 (+37)
t11. USC Aiken 296 288 297 881 (+41)
t11. Coastal Carolina 291 290 300 881 (+41)
13. Wofford 294 291 298 883 (+43)
14. Akron 290 301 294 885 (+45)
15. Idaho 299 292 295 886 (+46)
16. Wisconsin 307 289 293 889 (+49)
17. Presbyterian 293 299 304 896 (+56)
18. Francis Marion 307 297 308 912 (+72)
Tournament Quick Facts

Dates: March 7-8

Location: Aiken, S.C.

Course: Palmetto Golf Club

Par: 70

Yards: 6,617

AIKEN, S.C. — The University of South Carolina Men’s Golf team dominated from start to finish at the 2016 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate, winning the tournament on Tuesday with a final score of 821 (-19). Gamecock senior Matt NeSmith also left Palmetto Golf Club with some hardware, as he captured medalist honors by one stroke with a three-day total of 203 (-7).

South Carolina entered the tournament ranked No. 22 in the nation according to Golfstat and led after all three rounds at Palmetto en route to their second consecutive victory at the event. The Gamecocks turned a four-shot lead after one round into a commanding 14-stroke advantage after two rounds by shooting a team score of 266 (-14) on Monday afternoon, missing a school record by just one shot. Head Coach Bill McDonald’s team clinched their victory on Tuesday with a final round effort of 279 (-1).

This is South Carolina’s second team win of the season after capturing the Camden Collegiate Invitational in October. Carolina’s three-day total of 821 sets a new Palmetto Intercollegiate tournament record, eclipsing their score of 825 from last season’s win. The score is also the third-lowest 54-hole total in Gamecock history, bettered only by the team’s efforts at the 1999 Taylor Made/Red River Classic (816) and the 2007 NCAA West Regional (820).

NeSmith’s three-day total of 203 (-7) was one stroke better than Maverick Antcliff of Augusta and two shots ahead of teammate Will Starke, the event’s 2015 medalist. NeSmith and Antcliff were grouped together and tied at 6-under with two holes to play. NeSmith took a one-shot lead when the Augusta player bogeyed the par-4 17th hole, then he matched Antcliff’s birdie on the par-4 18th hole to secure the win.

NeSmith finished the day with a 69 (-1), his third straight round in the 60s at Palmetto and his fifth sub-70 round this season. The senior from nearby North Augusta, S.C., finished the tournament with 13 birdies and just six bogeys.

“That’s the best we’ve played all year,” NeSmith said after the victory. “I’m really excited to do it now and not the week before the SECs. I want to do it now, and let’s go out and win five or six tournaments, because we need all the confidence we can get, especially with some young guys that haven’t played a bunch. We need all them to play well, and I think they’re just gaining confidence by the day.”

NeSmith’s score of 203 is the sixth-lowest 54-hole output in Gamecock history and the team’s best effort of the season. It’s also the lowest by a Gamecock since NeSmith himself posted a school-record 196 to win the 2015 SEC Championship.

Starke closed with a 69 (-1) to finish with a three-round total of 205 (-5). The senior ended the tournament with his best golf of the season, notching five birdies on the back nine, good for a 31. He birdied three straight holes starting with the par-3 16th to ensure his first top-five finish of 2015-16 and the 12th of his collegiate career.

Freshman Will Miles started the day tied for the individual lead and finished tied for 6th with a final round effort of 75 (+5). His 54-hole score of 209 (-1) included a 66 (-4) on Monday afternoon, tied for Carolina’s top round of the week. The freshman tallied three birdies on Tuesday and finished with 12 for the week, to go along with a tournament-best two eagles. He’s finished in the top-10 in Carolina’s last two tournaments and three times overall in 2015-16.

Fellow freshman Scott Stevens joined Miles with a three-round score of 209 (-1), good for a sixth-place tie. Stevens ended the tournament with a round of 70 (E) on Tuesday, which included three birdies on his inward nine. The finish is the highest of Stevens’ career and gives him two top-10 results as a freshman.

All five Gamecocks finished the tournament in the top-10, with sophomore Keenan Huskey placing 10th by himself. The Greenville, S.C., native shot 71 (+1) on Tuesday to finish the event at 210 (E). He closed strong, with three birdies in his final 11 holes, and in the process capped off his third top-10 result of the year.

Quoting Coach Bill McDonald

“It was a great win this week for the team, and I couldn’t be happier for Matt winning also. It was nice to see Will Starke playing well again, and Will Miles’ effort in the first two rounds was really special. We fought back well today after getting off to a rough start, and I thought they really showed some patience and strong character when we needed it. Overall it was a tremendous win for our program, and hopefully it will springboard us on to great things for the rest of the spring season.”

Round Changer

NeSmith is the sixth Gamecock to win the Palmetto Intercollegiate individual crown. He joins a group that includes Starke (2015), Eirik Johansen (2004), Kyle Thompson (1997), Rick Williams (1998) and Allen Powers (1968). The senior played the tournament’s final five holes in 3-under par to complete the victory.


  • The Palmetto Intercollegiate victory is the 16th team title of McDonald’s head coaching career, which is a Gamecock record.
  • This is NeSmith’s third career medalist honor. The senior also finished on top of the 2015 Hootie at Bulls Bay and the 2015 SEC Championship.
  • South Carolina has now won the Palmetto five times. The 2016 victory joins team titles from 1991, 1997, 2004 and 2015 in the trophy case.

Up Next for the Gamecocks

South Carolina has a quick turnaround, as they will take part in the General Hackler Championship in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this weekend. Hosted by Coastal Carolina, the tournament runs March 12-13.