Gamecocks Close Out Regular Season in Dual Match at Georgia Tech
April 12, 2013
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The South Carolina men's golf team will have one last tune-up before postseason play on Saturday when it takes on Georgia Tech in a dual match at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
The No. 31 Gamecocks and No. 8 Yellow Jackets will each have six golfers play in a match play format, beginning at 10 a.m. Each match win is worth one point, while each match that is halved is worth half a point.
"It's a pretty unique situation. Both programs had a day of competition left in our schedule," said South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald, who was a two-time All-American at Georgia Tech (1985, 1988). "After discussing things with the Georgia Tech coaches, we thought it would be neat to play on the home course of Bobby Jones on Masters Saturday. It's a special place for me. It was our home golf course when I was at Georgia Tech. There's just a lot of history there. Georgia Tech, as usual, has a great program. We would have to be decisive underdogs playing at their home golf course. It's a great opportunity for our guys to get some good competition in before conference."
Harbin, who leads the team with a stroke average of 72.96, turned in five top-20 finishes during tournament play, including a win at the AutoTrader.com Collegiate Classic. Sturgeon posted a stroke average of 73.85, which ranks third on the team, and recorded five top-20 finishes, including a win at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic. NeSmith leads the team with seven top-20 finishes, including six top-10 showings, and is second on the squad with a stroke average of 73.04. He has been named SEC Freshman of the Week on three occasions. Starke has also had a stellar freshman campaign with a scoring average of 74.33 and a runner-up finish at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic. Kelly has played in three team events and has produced a scoring average of 75.50, while Moore played in five team events and has a stroke average of 75.33.
South Carolina has put together a stellar season with six top-five finishes, including a win at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic. The Gamecocks strung together four straight top-three finishes at one point, which marks the program's best stretch since finishing third or better in six straight events during the spring schedule of 1999.
Georgia Tech, the defending ACC champions, produced seven top-five finishes this season, including two tournament victories.
East Lake Golf Club, which is the home course of legendary golfer Bobby Jones, will be a stiff challenge for the teams. The par-72 course measures 7,374 yards from the championships tees. In 2005 East Lake became the permanent site for the TOUR Championship, which is the final event of the PGA Tour Playoffs.
Following Saturday's dual match, the Gamecocks will prepare for the SEC Championship, which will be held April 19-21 at Sea Island Golf Club in St. Simons, Ga.