South Carolina Wins J.T. Poston Invitational at Sapphire Valley
Team's first event of the season after the Scenic City Collegiate was canceled
SAPPHIRE, N.C. — South Carolina hung on to win its opening tournament of the 2021-22 season, the J.T. Poston Invitational, on Tuesday. The Gamecocks went into the day with a two-shot lead over Chattanooga. The team shot 286 (+2) in the final round to win by two shots over Middle Tennessee State and four over the Mocs.
“It was nice to get a win, but the guys sure made it interesting on the back nine,” said head coach Bill McDonald. “All three tournament rounds were excellent team efforts I thought and Gene and Evans were excellent in their debuts. We were fortunate to get this victory and we gained some valuable final round back nine experience which should only make us better.”
True freshman Gene Zeigler impressed in his first collegiate tournament. He led Carolina in the final round with a 70 (-1) and was the only player to shoot under par today. The highly-touted Zeigler, who hails from Florence, S.C., was the top ranked player in the state coming out of high school last year. He T-15th at 3-under overall.
Senior First Team All-American Ryan Hall and Jack Wall each shot 72 (+1) in the final round to finish T-12th at 5-under for the tournament. Hall’s top-20 was the 18th of his career and his 11th in his last 12 starts. Wall’s top-20 is the fourth of his career. He finished T-7th in the 2019 edition of the tournament, which was won by Hall.
Senior transfer Evans Lewis was the final counting score with a 72 (+1) in his first event as a Gamecock. He finished T-25th at 1-under. Sophomore Rafe Reynolds shot 75 (+4) and finished 27th at even par.
Sophomore Liam Shinn and freshman Nathan Franks competed as indvidiuals this week. Shinn posted another red number with a final round 70 (-1) to finish T-18th at 2-under, marking his first top-20 finish at South Carolina. Franks shot 72 (+1) and finished T-40th at 4-over in his first career tournament.
The win marks the 25th of McDonald’s career in Garnet and Black. He’s now adds to his total for winningest coach in program history. Today also marked the team’s first victory since the Southern Intercollegiate in 2019.
South Carolina will be back in action Oct. 10-12 competing in the first ever SEC Match Play at Shoal Creek Club.
2021 J.T. Poston Invitational Field
1. South Carolina – 833 (-19)
2. Middle Tennessee State – 835 (-17)
3. Chattanooga – 837 (-15)
4. Kennesaw State – 845 (-7)
5. Belmont – 846 (-6)
6. Georgia Southern – 847 (-5)
7. Appalachian State – 852 (E)
8. Western Carolina – 853 (+1)
9. Wofford College – 857 (+5)
10. Furman – 858 (+6)
T11. UNCW – 860 (+8)
T11. Mercer – 860 (+8)
13. Morehead State – 882 (+30)
14. Central Arkansas – 894 (+42)
2021 J.T. Poston Invitational Gamecock Lineup
T12. Ryan Hall – 208 (-5)
T12. Jack Wall – 208 ( -5)
T15. Gene Zeigler – 210 (-3)
T18. *Liam Shinn – 211 (-2)
T25. Evans Lewis – 212 (-1)
27. Rafe Reynolds – 213 (E)
T40. *Nathan Franks – 217 (+4)
*playing as an individual