April 3, 2016
AWENDAW, S.C. -- A career-best round from sophomore Keenan Huskey boosted the University of South Carolina Men's Golf team into second place after one round at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. Huskey shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday, and the Gamecocks are four strokes back as a team after a round of 277 (-11).
Charleston Southern leads the field after one round at Bulls Bay Golf Club after shooting a round of 273 (-15). CSU senior Taylor Zoller holds the individual lead after shooting 64 (-8) in his first round.
Huskey played bogey-free golf on Sunday and made seven birdies in his first career round at the Hootie. The sophomore came out hot, with birdies on two of his first three holes, and he is tied for second with 36 holes left. Huskey was 3-under on par-3 holes in his opening round to lead the field.
One day after winning medalist honors and clinching his 2016 Tour card at Mackenzie Tour Q-School, Will Starke posted another strong round. The senior shot a 70 (-2) to open the tournament and is tied for seventh individually, six strokes off the pace. Starke was strong down the stretch, with two birdies on his final three holes.
Fellow senior Matt NeSmith finished second at Mackenzie Tour Q-School and like Starke, he's tied for seventh at the Hootie after a round of 70 (-2). The 2015 medalist at the Hootie and the winner of two tournaments already this spring, NeSmith chalked up four birdies on Sunday.
Senior Sean Kelly also had a quick turnaround after earning conditional status at Mackenzie Tour Q-School on Saturday, but like his fellow veterans he powered through the fatigue to shoot a solid round. Kelly is tied for 23rd with two days left after firing an even-par 72 that included a bogey-free back nine of 32 (-3).
Freshman Scott Stevens is tied for 45th after one round after shooting 75 (+3) on Sunday. Stevens, who is riding a stretch of three straight top-10 finishes, was the only Gamecock to birdie the par-4 1st hole in the opening round.
Quoting Coach Bill McDonald
"I'm really proud of how the guys came out and competed today. Keenan had a really strong round, and it's the best I've seen him look this year. We also had really solid rounds from our seniors who had to be exhausted from Canadian Tour Q-School this week. We are in good position to defend our title, and I'm looking forward to the next couple of days."
Huskey's round of 65 was three shots lower than his previous collegiate bests, a pair of 68's in the final two rounds of the Camden Collegiate Invitational in October. Huskey captured medalist honors at that event, his first career collegiate tournament victory, and he stands just one shot back at Bulls Bay with two rounds left.
Up Next for the Gamecocks
The Gamecocks tee off at 10:40 a.m. on Monday in their second round at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. South Carolina will be paired with Charleston Southern and Wake Forest, with live scoring available all day long at Golfstat.com.
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