Gamecocks Finish Tied for 27th at NCAA Golf Championship

Gamecocks Finish Tied for 27th at NCAA Golf Championship (Image 1)

MILTON, Ga. — The South Carolina men's golf team posted a
final-round 286 (+6) to move up three spots to finish tied for 27th at the NCAA
Championship on Thursday at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course.


The Gamecocks wrapped up the week in a tie with Kent
State with a 54-hole total of 868 (+28), concluding one of its most successful
seasons in recent history. South Carolina turned in seven top-three finishes,
including a win at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic. The Gamecocks finished runner-up
at the SEC Championship and tied for second at the NCAA Columbus Regional to
secure a berth to this week's NCAA Championship, the program's first since 2009.


“It was a disappointing week for us overall, but I am
proud of the season we had and how hard we fought today,” South Carolina head
coach Bill McDonald said. “Matt NeSmith's round was incredible and he continues
to amaze me. Dykes Harbin has been a great Gamecock and leader for us, and we
will surely miss him. We have made great strides this year as a program, and I
hope this experience carries over to next year and beyond.”


NeSmith closed with an impressive 4-under 66 on Thursday
to lead the Gamecocks, matching the lowest NCAA Championship score in school
history. NeSmith vaulted 59 spots up the leaderboard to finish the week in a
tie for 38th with a total of 211 (+1), which is the lowest 54-hole NCAA
Championship total in school history. A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith
caught fire early, making birdies on three of his first four holes. However, he
fell back to even par after recording bogey on 14, 16 and 17. He played his
best golf of the day on the back nine as he closed out his round with birdies
on four of his final six holes and did not record a bogey.


Sophomore Caleb Sturgeon carded the next lowest round of
the day for the Gamecocks, shooting a 2-over 72 that included three birdies,
three bogeys and a double bogey. Sturgeon closed out the week in a tie for
128th with a total of 220 (+10).


Playing in his final tournament in Garnet and Black,
Harbin shot a 74 (+4) to finish tied for 116th with a total of 219 (+9). Harbin
recorded four birdies, six bogeys and a double bogey on the afternoon.


Freshman Will Starke and sophomore Sean Kelly also shot
74s on Thursday. Starke concluded the week in a tie for 116th with a total of
219 (+9), while Kelly finished 144th with a total of 223 (+13).


California (824), Georgia Tech (830), Alabama (833), Texas
(833) and Illinois (835) have all secured spots in the match play portion of
the tournament. New Mexico, Texas A&M, UNLV and Arizona State will all
participate in a playoff to determine the final three spots for match play.


California's Max Homa won the individual national title
with a total of 201 (-9).



T38. Matt NeSmith (3)               70-75-66=211

T116. Dykes Harbin (1)              74-71-74=219

T116. Will Starke (4)               70-75-74=219

T128. Caleb Sturgeon (2)                  73-75-72=220

T144. Sean Kelly (5)                73-76-74=223



1. California                       277-272-275=824

2. Georgia Tech                     274-274-282=830

T3. Alabama                         275-276-282=833

T3. Texas                     279-271-283=833

5. Illinois                         276-281-278=835

T6. New Mexico                      292-274-276=842

T6. Texas A&M                       285-275-282=842

T6. UNLV                      286-284-272=842

T6. Arizona State                   270-288-284=842

10. Arkansas                        286-271-286=843

T11. Oklahoma                       278-284-283=845

T11. Florida State                  287-277-281=845

13. Auburn                    292-279-275=846

T14. Texas Tech                     288-283-276=847

T14. Oklahoma State                 279-293-275=847

T16. Washington                     281-283-284=848

T16. UCF                      287-274-287=848

18. North Florida                   281-282-286=849

T19. TCU                      294-272-284=850

T19. Georgia                        286-283
281=850 (+10)

T19. Tennessee                      286-277-287=850

22. Coastal Carolina                293-275-283=851

T23. LSU                      285-282-287=854

T23. Southern California                  291-278-285=854

25. Florida                         291-283-283=857

26. UCLA                      289-281-288=858

T27. South Carolina                 286-296-286=868

T27. Kent State                     282-293-293=868

29. St. Mary's (CA)                 287-294-288=869

30. Ball State                      290-289-293=872

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