Feb. 24, 2013
HUMBLE, Texas -- The South Carolina men's golf team made one last charge up the leaderboard on Sunday, posting a final-round 291 (+3) on its way to claiming third place at the Bayou City Collegiate Championships at Redstone Golf Club.
The Gamecocks, who moved three spots up the standings with the third lowest round of the day, wrapped up the weekend with a total of 871 (+7). South Carolina has now finished first and third in its last two tournaments, making it the program's best two-tournament stretch since finishing tied for first and first at the Mason Rudolph Championship and the Rees Jones Invitational in back-to-back events in the fall of 2009.
"We ended up having a solid finish, and I'm proud of the guys this week for how they fought to get us back to third place," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "Will Murphy and Caleb Sturgeon really played well, and Dykes Harbin and Matt NeSmith aren't far off with their games. Texas has a very strong team, and they played lights out."
Sophomore Caleb Sturgeon fired a 3-under 69 to lead the Gamecocks' move up the leaderboard. Sturgeon, who won medalist honors at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic to close out the fall, earned his second straight top-10 finish as he moved 19 spots up the standings to tie for eighth with a total of 214 (-2). A native of Laurens, S.C., Sturgeon made it through his round with just one blemish on his scorecard, a bogey on the par-4 18th. He was stellar the rest of the way, making four birdies and 13 pars.
Sophomore Will Murphy came close to carding his third straight round of par or better on the weekend but he fell one stroke short, turning in a 1-over 73 to conclude one of the best tournaments of his collegiate career. Murphy finished the weekend in a tie for eighth along with Sturgeon with a total of 214 (-2), which is his best collegiate finish when competing at a team event. He finished second two weeks ago at the Savannah Quarters Individual, a non-team event. Murphy recorded a birdie, two bogeys and 15 pars on the day.
Senior Dykes Harbin and freshman Matt NeSmith tied for 31st and 39th, respectively. Harbin turned in a 4-over 76 on Sunday to close out the weekend with a total of 221 (+5), while NeSmith shot a 1-over 73 to take his final total to 222 (+6).
Rounding out the lineup, freshman Will Starke carded a 77 (+5) on Sunday to finished tied for 71st with a total of 232 (+16).
Third-ranked Texas pulled away to win the tournament with a total of 842 (-22). The Longhorns shot a 5-under 283 in the final round. Tournament host Houston finished second with a score of 863 (-1), followed by the Gamecocks, Louisiana Tech (874), Chattanooga (875) and Baylor (875). Texas' Brandon Stone won medalist honors with a total of 207 (-9) after shooting a 5-under 67 on Sunday.
The Gamecocks return to action on Sunday, March 3 in the Lake Jovita Classic. The 54-hole event will be contested at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club in Tampa, Fla.
FINAL TEAM STANDINGS
1. Texas 285-274-283=842 (-22)
2. Houston 294-282-287=863 (-1)
3. South Carolina 294-286-291=871 (+7)
4. Louisiana Tech 291-287-296=874 (+10)
T5. Chattanooga 290-290-295=875 (+11)
T5. Baylor 286-286-303=875 (+11)
7. Charlotte 289-285-304=878 (+14)
8. East Carolina 290-295-295=880 (+16)
9. Lamar 295-292-294=881 (+17)
10. UTSA 292-296-295=883 (+19)
11. Houston Baptist 294-296-302=892 (+28)
12. Indiana 296-297-300=893 (+29)
T13. UT Arlington 290-299-307=896 (+32)
T13. New Mexico State 299-289-308=896 (+32)
15. Rice 309-301-307=917 (+53)
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