Feb. 15, 2018
Men's Golf at the All-American Intercollegiate
HUMBLE, Texas -- South Carolina kicks off its 2018 spring season on Friday morning at the All-American Intercollegiate hosted by Houston and Rice. The tournament will be a standard, three-day, 54-hole format.
The Gamecocks are coming off their best performance of the season in which they finished second at the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classsic to wrap-up the fall portion of the team's schedule in early November. Carolina shot the fifth lowest 54-hole score in program history (828, -24) in Hawaii.
2017 All-SEC and All-Region selections Keenan Huskey and Scott Stevens, who have been staples in the lineup for the Gamecocks the past three seasons, will be competing in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots in the lineup per usual.
They will be joined this week by senior Ben Dietrich, sophomore Jamie Wilson and freshman Andrew Spiegler. It'll mark the first time Carolina has used this lineup during the 2017-18 season. Golf begins at 9:30 a.m. ET Friday.
FROM THE COACH
"Anxious to get going. It's been what seems like forever since we last played in Hawaii. It's been a good break. We've had a couple guys trying to heal up with a little flu running through the team -- Will Miles is on the mend. We've got a good group going out to Texas, and I'm looking forward to it. The big thing is we're just wanting to see where everybody is at this week." - head coach Bill McDonald
HISTORY AT THE ALL-AMERICAN INTERCOLLEGIATE
This weekend will mark Carolina's sixth appearance at the event, formerly known as the Bayou City Championship (named changed to All-American Intercollegiate in 2016). The Gamecocks have finished fourth or better every year they've competed, winning the event in 2015 with a score of 850 (-14).
Last season, Carolina took fourth with a 54-hole total of 859 (-5). Scott Stevens led the team finishing T-2nd at 7-under par thanks to just three bogeys the entire tournament. The Gamecocks were one of just five teams (Baylor, Vanderbilt, Houston and Auburn) to shoot under par. Baylor ran away with the team title, shooting a lights out 856 (-28). 2017 SEC Champion Vanderbilt was runner-up at 23-under.
Baylor, Houston, South Carolina and Auburn, four teams who finished in the top-five at the event a year ago are all back this year helping makeup the solid 18-team field. The Bears (No. 6) and Tigers (No. 9) both finished in the top-10 of the final Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll from the fall. No. 12 Wake Forest is the other top-25 team in the field this week. Carolina and Auburn are the only two SEC programs competing in the tournament.
RECAPPING THE FALL
South Carolina had a rock solid fall slate, finishing in the top five in four of the team's five tournaments. The Gamecocks won the 2017 Camden Collegiate Invitational (Oct. 21-22) for the third time in four seasons with a 12-shot win over runner-up James Madison. Carolina finished 1-over par with a 54-hole total of 841. The Gamecocks took second place in the team's final event of the fall in November, the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic (Nov. 3-5) in Hawaii. The Gamecocks shot a season-best 828 (-24), the fifth lowest 54-hole total in program history.
2017 All-SEC and PING All-Region selection Scott Stevens was outstanding in the fall, leading the team in scoring average (70.40), rounds of par or better (10), rounds in the 60s (7), top-10 finishes (3) and top-five finishes (2). The sophomore from Chattanooga, Tenn. finished T-3 at The Jackrabbit (Oct. 1-3) after shooting 205 (-11). He finished the fall with a bang earning runner-up medalist honors at the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic thanks to a 202 (-11). His low score tied David Seawell for the sixth lowest 54-hole score in program history.
Fellow 2017 All-SEC and PING All-Region selection Keenan Huskey bounced back from a tough start to the fall in the season-opener at The Farm (Sept. 8-10) to finish in the top-15 individually at the team's next four events. His two top-10s were second on the team as he finished with a 71.40 scoring average during the fall slate. The senior captain from Greenville, S.C. had a team-best sixth place finish at the Camden Collegiate Invitaitional helping the team secure its first win of the 2017-18 season. Stevens finished the fall ranked 10th in the Golfstat SEC Player Rankings.
Junior Will Miles had superb fall after working hard in the offseason. The Hilton Head Island, S.C., native ranked second on the team with a 71.20 scoring average. He was tied for second on the team with four rounds in the 60s. Miles tallied his second career top-five finish in helping the team to take second at the Ka'anapali Collegiate Classic in Hawaii. He finished in fourth place after shooting a career-54 hole low of 204 (-9), thanks to a 66 in the opening round and a 66 in the final round. Miles and Huskey both ranked in the top-30 of the final Golfstat SEC Player Rankings for the fall.
Sophomore Caleb Proveaux, who started all five events alongside Huskey, Stevens and Miles, had two top-20 finishes and his first career top-10 at the Camden Collegiate Invitational (T-7th, +1). He tied for second on the team with eight rounds of par or better.
Gamecock head coach Bill McDonald is the winningest coach by tournament victories in school history with 21. McDonald broke the previous record of nine held by Puggy Blackmon (1995-2007) with Carolina's win at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in September 2014. McDonald captured a school-record five wins in 2014-15 and the team's third-straight title at the 2017 Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate last spring. His latest win came this fall at the 2017 Camden Collegiate Invitational as Carolina won the event for the third time in four seasons thanks to three individual top-10 finishes.
The Gamecocks take a few weeks off before teeing it up again at the General Hackler Championship on March 10-11 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The tournament, hosted by Coastal Carolina, will mark a stretch of four events in four weeks for South Carolina to finish its regular season in March.
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