March 12, 2016
Round 1: 70
Round 2: 74
To Par: E
Round 1: 73
Round 2: 67
To Par: -4
Round 1: 72
Round 2: 69
To Par: -3
Round 1: 69
Round 2: 75
To Par: E
Round 1: 70
Round 2: 69
To Par: -5
|Sean Kelly (IND.)
Round 1: 74
Round 2: 76
To Par: +6
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Less than a week after capturing the Palmetto Intercollegiate title, the University of South Carolina Men’s Golf team is back on the course and back on top of the leaderboard after one day of the General Hackler Championship. The Gamecocks, listed No. 19 in the latest Golfstat national rankings, posted a 36-hole score of 560 (-16) on Saturday to lead No. 24 Virginia by three strokes heading into the final round.
Due to darkness, three teams still have to finish their second round before the final 18-hole round can begin on Sunday morning. Sunday’s final round tee times begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue until 10:50 a.m. but can not be made official until the second round is completed.
Freshman Will Miles leads the Gamecocks and stands third individually after two rounds with a 36-hole score of 139 (-5), while reigning SEC Golfer of the Week Matt NeSmith is tied for fourth at 140 (-4). Virginia’s Jimmy Stanger holds the individual lead at 136 (-8), while Kent State’s Gisli Sveinbergsson is second with a score of 138 (-6).
Miles opened with a score of 70 (-2) and finished the day with a round of 69 (-3). It’s the fifth round in the 60s this season for the freshman, who tallied eight birdies on the day.
Fresh off his medalist triumph at the Palmetto Intercollegiate earlier this week, NeSmith started strong, birdieing his first two holes of the morning en route to a 73 (+1). His afternoon round was six shots lower, a 67 (-5) that included three straight birdies from holes 11-13.
Freshman Scott Stevens opened the day with a round of 72 (E) and finished strong, shooting a 69 (-3). His total score of 141 (-3) is tied for eighth. Stevens was exceptionally strong on his afternoon back nine, playing the stretch in 3-under par with no bogeys.
Will Starke is tied for 24th after two rounds, with a score of 144 (E). The senior Byron Nelson Award candidate started the day with a 70 (-2) and closed with a 74 (+2). Starke posted six birdies for the day.
Keenan Huskey is also tied for 24th with one round to play after shooting a score of 144 (E). The sophomore began the tournament with Carolina’s best round of the morning, a 69 (-3) that included three straight birdies from holes No. 13-15, and his afternoon round was a 75 (+3).
Playing as an individual, senior Sean Kelly is tied for 55th after two rounds, with a score of 150 (+6). Kelly posted rounds of 74 (+2) and 76 (+4) on Saturday.
Quoting Coach Bill McDonald
“It was good day for us, and we played two very solid rounds I thought. Unfortunately, we dropped a few shots finishing up in the dark, but we are in good shape going into tomorrow, and I’m proud of the guys’ effort today.”
Miles entered the tournament with three top-10 finishes this season, including one in each of South Carolina’s last two tournaments. His best finish, a second-place result at the Camden Collegiate Invitational, came in October, and with a top-five finish on Sunday he’ll become just the eighth Gamecock freshman to record two top-fives in his rookie season.
- If NeSmith can stay in the top-10 Sunday, he will record his 22nd career top-10 result, which would match Kyle Thompson (1997-2000) for the Gamecock career record.
- The Gamecocks are aiming for consecutive tournament victories for the first time since the 2014-15 season, when they won the Camden Collegiate Invitational to end the fall and started the spring with victories at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship and the Palmetto Intercollegiate.
- It would be just the fourth time since 1987-88 that South Carolina won back-to-back tournaments..
Up Next for the Gamecocks
The final 18 holes at the General Hackler Championship begin Sunday at 8:30 a.m. Fans can follow the progress of the Gamecocks all day long through live scoring at Golfstat.com.