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Gamecocks Fall to Illinois, 4-1, in NCAA Championship Quarterfinal
Men's Golf  . 

Gamecocks Fall to Illinois, 4-1, in NCAA Championship Quarterfinal

May 31, 2016

Tournament Quick Facts

Dates: May 27-June 1

Location: Eugene, Ore.

Course: Eugene Country Club

Par: 70

Yards: 7,014

EUGENE, Ore. – An incredible season came to an end on Tuesday morning as the University of South Carolina Men’s Golf team fell to Illinois, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.

With the victory, Illinois advances to the NCAA Championship semifinals, where they will meet Oregon on Tuesday afternoon.

Freshman Scott Stevens finished with the highlight of the day for the Gamecocks, as he defeated Dylan Meyer of Illinois, 4&3. Stevens trailed early, going 2-down after the 5th hole, but he quickly righted the ship. A birdie on the 9th put the freshman 1-up at the turn, and he went on to clinch the match with victories on the 10th, 11th, and 13th holes.

Though the Gamecocks played tremendous golf throughout the day, they were narrowly defeated by the second-seeded Fighting Illini. Matt NeSmith was especially strong in defeat, playing the full 18 holes in 69 (-1) but falling to Edoardo Lipparelli, 1-down.

The loss brings to a close the Gamecock careers of seniors NeSmith, Sean Kelly, and Will Starke. It was Starke who led the team in stroke play, finishing tied for 13th after two rounds in the 60’s.

South Carolina Results

  • No.1 – Keenan Huskey (South Carolina) vs. Thomas Detry (Illinois) – L, 2&1
  • No. 2 – Matt NeSmith (South Carolina) vs. Edoardo Lipparelli (Illinois) – L, 1-up
  • No. 3 – Scott Stevens (South Carolina) vs. Dylan Meyer (Illinois) – W, 4&3
  • No. 4 – Sean Kelly (South Carolina) vs. Nick Hardy (Illinois) – L, 2&1
  • No. 5 – Will Starke (South Carolina) vs. Charlie Danielson (Illinois) – L, 1-up

NCAA Match Play Quarterfinals

  • No. 1 Texas def. No. 8 Oklahoma, 4-1
  • No. 2 Illinois def. No. 7 South Carolina, 4-1
  • No. 6 Oregon def. No. 3 LSU, 3-1-1
  • No. 4 Southern California def. No. 5 Vanderbilt, 4-1

Quoting Coach Bill McDonald

“It’s been a great Championship, a benchmark for our program in a lot of ways to finally make the match play. The way the guys fought the last couple of days to get us into match play and to get us into the top 15 to begin with – it was a great year with three great seniors, and hopefully our young guys, Keenan (Huskey) and Scott Stevens have learned a lot from this week as well.”

Round Changer

Stevens will go down as the first player in the history of the Gamecock program to earn a match play victory at the NCAA Championship. The freshman was locked in on Monday, shooting 68 (-2) to help South Carolina finish in the top eight. He carried that momentum over to Tuesday, where he was dominant in the match play triumph.


  • NeSmith added another piece of hardware to the trophy case on Tuesday, as he earned PING First Team All-America honors. He’s the first Gamecock to earn First Team All-America laurels.
  • South Carolina’s seventh-place finish in the stroke play portion of the tournament was a program best, and Tuesday marked their first appearance at the match play stage of the NCAA Championship.
  • Kelly, NeSmith and Starke end their careers with a slew of Carolina Men’s Golf records. The trio combined for 13 tournament victories and six individual medalist honors, while NeSmith and Starke hold the two lowest stroke averages in program history.