March 21, 2017
PALM CITY, Fla. -- Sophomore Scott Stevens (T-2nd) and junior Keenan Huskey (T-10th) both finished in the top-10 for the second time this season in the same tournament to pace South Carolina at the 2017 Valspar Collegiate Invitational. The Gamecocks shot 287 (+3) on the final day to place eighth at 22-over, finishing ahead of four teams in the top-50 in the latest Golfstat rankings.
Stevens shot even par 71 to finish T-2nd at 1-under. The second place finish matches a career best for the talented sophomore. With his three par or better rounds at the Valspar Collegiate this week, Stevens has played 13 of his 23 rounds at par or better this season, which ranks second the team behind Huskey. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native, was one of just three players in the 78-man field to shot under par.
Huskey carded his best round of the tournament, leading the team with a 1-under 70 on the final day to finish T-10th. This week marks the third-straight top-10 finish for the team captain from Greenville, S.C. He leads the team with 14 rounds of par or better in the 2016-17 season.
Gamecock freshman Jamie Wilson shot 72 (+1) on the final day for a career-best T-29th finish. He and Stevens T-3rd in the field with 13 birdies each, which led the team. Wilson, who hails from Mount Pleasant, S.C., shot a new 18-hole career low with a 3-under 69 in Monday’s second round. It was his first time ever shooting in the 60s. Sophomore Ryan Stachler shot 79 (+8) on the final day and finished 72nd. Freshman Caleb Proveaux carded a third round 74 (+3).
No. 10 Wake Forest held on for a one shot win at 859 (+7) over No. 27 Georgia Tech. The Demon Deacons won the 2017 General Hackler Championship last week in Myrtle Beach. Tyler Strafaci of Georgia Tech shot 211 (-2) to earn medalist honors. He shot consecutive 69s on the final two days en route to the win. Stevens tied with No. 10 ranked player Will Zalatoris of Wake Forest with a total of 212 (-1).
Quoting Coach Bill McDonald
“It was a frustrating tournament for us on several levels. Scott played some outstanding golf and unfortunately didn’t finish real well or he would have easily won. However, I’m very proud of how he responded to his struggles the past two events this week. Kennan had a really good tournament too. His game just keeps getting better and more refined. Overall as a team, we have to get more production from our other guys in order to compete at the highest level.”
Round Changer Keenan Huskey
Huskey’s 1-under 70 was his 35th career round at par or better. He logged his ninth career top-10 finish this week. So far this season, Huskey has finished in the top-25 in all eight of the Gamecocks events in the 2016-17 season. He T-3rd in the field this week in Par-3 scoring average at 2.93 (-1).
Up Next for the Gamecocks
It’ll be another short week for Carolina, as they have a quick turnaround for the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate on March 26-28 in Awendaw, S.C. The Gamecocks have won the team title at the event the last two seasons. Carolina won the event with a score of 841 (-23) as all five golfers in the lineup finished in the top-10, marking the second time the team accomplished the feat in 2015-16. Keenan Huskey earned medalist honors last year, notching his second win of the season. He joined elite company with his 11-under finish, becoming just the eighth Gamecock in program history to tally two or more wins in a single season.
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