Gamecocks Finish 11th at SEC Championship
Team misses match play for just the second time in five seasons of new format
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — No. 22 South Carolina finished 11th at the 2022 SEC Championship missing the eight-team cutline for the match play quarterfinals on Saturday. The Gamecocks posted a final round 287 (+7) on another windy day at Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course.
“Frustrating week overall and definitely not our best effort,” said head coach Bill McDonald. “We had four guys in lineup that had never seen Sea Island in SEC Championship tournament conditions. I liked what I saw from our freshmen. Nathan (Franks) had a solid tournament, Gene (Zeigler) had a great final round and Ryan (Hall) obviously played well again. We weren’t at our best and certainly did not compete at our best this week. I’m worried about Jack (Wall) and his wrist but hope everything is fine and he can return for the rest of the postseason. We had some adversity thrown at us this week and at this level, it’s hard to compete with such a good field and not your entire lineup. We’re going to sharpen up some things and be ready to go for NCAA Regionals.”
Senior All-American Ryan Hall shot 71 (+1) and finished T-5th at 3-under for the tournament. He missed a couple birdie opportunities down the stretch. Hall needed to make birdie on his final hole at the par-4 ninth. He was aggressive and attacked the pin but caught a flyer out of the rough and overshot the green, leading to his only bogey on the back nine.
Redshirt senior Evans Lewis paced the team today with an even par-70, bouncing back from two tough rounds to start the tournament. He was bogey free on his front nine today with a birdie at the difficult par-4 14th hole. Lewis had two tough bogeys on holes six and seven but responded nicely with a birdie at the par-4 eighth to get it back to even par.
Freshman Gene Zeigler, who was inserted into the lineup just before the start of round two on Thursday for the injured Jack Wall, shot 72 (+2). He battled making a pair of birdies.
Sophomore Rafe Reynolds was the final counting score today with a 74 (+4). He made three birdies but was hurt by a pair of double bogeys on his scorecard on the back nine where the team started for the second consecutive day at hole 10.
Freshman Nathan Franks, who fired a bogey free 67 (-3) yesterday, had a tough final round with a 75 (+5) and no birdies on his scorecard.
No. 3 Vanderbilt earned the top seed for match play with an impressive 16-under 824. Florida’s John Dubois earned medalist honors with a final 54-hole tally of 204 (-6). He shot 64 (-6) in round two and 68 (-2) today to win by a shot.
The Gamecocks will now await their postseason destination for NCAA Regionals. The selection show on the men’s side airs at 4 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday, May 4 live on the Golf Channel.
2022 SEC Championship R3 Leaderboard
1. No. 3 Vanderbilt – 824 (-16)
2. No. 19 Texas A&M – 827 (-13)
3. No. 16 Florida – 828 (-12)
4. No. 25 LSU – 831 (-9)
5. No. 45 Missouri – 839 (-1)
6. No. 12 Georgia – 840 (E)
7. No. 18 Tennessee – 843 (+3)
8. Mississippi State – 844 (+4)
9. No. 14 Auburn – 845 (+5)
10. No. 10 Arkansas – 851 (+11)
11. No. 22 South Carolina – 857 (+17)
12. No. 21 Ole Miss – 863 (+23)
13. Kentucky – 868 (+28)
14. No. 40 Alabama – 871 (+31)
2022 SEC Championship R3 Gamecock Leaderboard
T5. Ryan Hall – 207 (-3)
T34. Nathan Franks – 213 (+3)
T54. Evans Lewis – 220 (+10)
T54. Rafe Reynolds – 220 (+10)
SUB. Gene Zeigler – 76 (+6) in R2, 72 (+2) in R3
SUB. Jack Wall – 75 (+5) in R1