April 7, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The South Carolina men's golf team posted a final-round 289 (+1) on Sunday to capture fifth place at the Insperity Augusta State Invitational at Forest Hills Golf Club.
The Gamecocks, who now have six top-five finishes this season, wrapped up the weekend with a 54-hole total of 872 (+8) as they finished nine shots back of tournament champion Texas (863). Competing against one of the strongest fields in collegiate golf this season, Carolina placed ahead of eight teams ranked in the Golfstat Top 50, including rival Clemson for the third straight tournament.
"I was really proud of how the guys played this week," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "To come back from a poor finish in our last event and beat a number of good teams shows how talented and resilient we are. The strength of this field and how we played should give us some confidence heading into conference and regionals."
Freshman Matt NeSmith continued his stellar play this weekend as he tied for eighth place for his fourth straight top-10 finish. A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith carded a 2-over 74 on Sunday to conclude the tournament with a total of 214 (-2). He dropped to 3-over on the day with a double bogey at the eighth hole but regrouped to play steady golf the rest of the way, playing the final 10 holes at 1-under.
Freshman Will Starke delivered the low round of the day for the Gamecocks as he shot a 1-under 71 to finish in a tie for 45th with a total of 225 (+9). Starke's round included an eagle on the par-5 11th, two birdies, a bogey and a double bogey.
Sophomore Caleb Sturgeon and senior Dykes Harbin each shot an even-par 72 on Sunday. They both recorded four birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey. Sturgeon finished the event in a tie for 28th with a total of 221 (+5), and Harbin tied for 33rd with a total of 222 (+6).
Rounding out the lineup for the Gamecocks, sophomore Sean Kelly turned in a final-round 76 (+4) to close out the weekend in a tie for 40th with a total of 223 (+7).
Sixth-ranked Texas finished two shots ahead of host Augusta State (865) to win its second straight Augusta State Invitational title. Georgia (866) and Virginia Tech (868) finished third and fourth, respectively. Coastal Carolina's Sebastian Soderberg defeated UCF's Greg Eason in a playoff to win medalist honors after both golfers finished the round at 7-under par.
The Gamecocks will play in a dual match against Georgia Tech next Saturday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. Carolina will then head to the SEC Championship on April 19-21 at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons, Ga.
SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS T8. Matt NeSmith (3) 67-73-74=214 (-2) T28. Caleb Sturgeon (2) 75-74-72=221 (+5) T33. Dykes Harbin (1) 74-76-72=222 (+6) T40. Sean Kelly (4) 70-77-76=223 (+7) T45. Will Starke (5) 80-74-71=225 (+9)
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