Sept. 30, 2017
Men's Golf at The Jackrabbit
COLUMBIA, S.C. -- South Carolina heads to the midwest this weekend to compete in The Jackrabbit for the first time ever in program history. First round action kicks off Sunday for the 54-hole event. The 14-team field will battle it out at the Prairie Club, a long par-72 dunes style course considered by many the top place to play in the state of Nebraska.
It’ll be the Gamecocks first tournament action since competing at the Carpet Capital Collegiate back in early September. The lineup remains the same with the addition of Jamie Wilson in the five-hole spot. Wilson, who earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice last year, will be making his 2017-18 debut.
FROM THE COACH
"Well, we’ve gotten some good qualifying and good practices in. The main thing is we’ve had a little break here for the guys to get settled in academically. We’ve got four events in five weeks starting this week wrapping up in Hawaii the first week of November. I thought it was important for our guys to have a couple weeks to just settle in and be college students." -- head coach Bill McDonald
HISTORY AT THE JACKRABBIT
This will be South Carolina’s first ever appearance at The Jackrabbit. 2017 marks just the third year of the young tournament. The Dunes Course at Prairie Club, ranked the third-best course in Nebraska by Golf Digest and No. 76 on Golf Magazine’s top 100 public courses in the country, is where the annual event is played.
Clemson won last year’s team title with a final tally of 847 (-17), fending off Missouri by two strokes. South Florida won the inaugural team championship in 2015 with a score of 18-under. The Bulls were the only team to shoot under par that year.
No. 18 Missouri is in the only team ranked in the top-25 of the Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll, which was released on Friday, Sept. 29, for the first time during the 2017-18 season.
Tennessee joins Missouri and South Carolina as the only SEC schools in the 14-team field. The Gamecocks and Volunteers each received votes in the first regular season ranking.
RECAPPING THE 2016-17 SEASON
Carolina advanced to its 10th NCAA Regional in the last 11 seasons a year ago, qualified for the first ever SEC Match Play at the SEC Championship (top-eight teams in stroke play), finished in the top-five in eight of its 12 events and won the Hootie At Bulls Bay Intercollegiate for the third consecutive season.
Keenan Huskey earned Honorable Mention All-America honors from Golfweek after a standout junior season. He logged the third lowest scoring average all-time in program history at 70.63 en route to earning Second Team All-SEC honors and PING All-Southeast Region honors. He played in all 12 events and finished in the top-20 nine times, with a team-high six top-10s. Despite battling an arm injury for much of the second half of the season, he still managed to finish T-9th in the stroke play portion of the SEC Championship.
Scott Stevens had a stellar sophomore campaign, logging the fifth lowest scoring average all-time at Carolina (71.26) and the lowest ever by a second-year player in program history. He had seven top-20 finishes and three top-fives en route to earning Second Team All-SEC recognition and PING All-Southeast Region honors. Huskey and Stevens were the only players on the roster to start all 12 events last season.
Jamie Wilson had a breakout spring for the Gamecocks in 2017. He saw action in the starting lineup eight times and posted a 72.97 scoring average, the sixth best in program history for a freshman. Wilson helped propel the Gamecocks to the first ever SEC Match Play last spring after shooting a career-best 66 (-4) in the final round of stroke play to finish T-16th at the SEC Championship. He earned SEC Freshman of the Week honors twice
Gamecock head coach Bill McDonald is the winningest coach by tournament victories in school history with 20. 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 snagged his latest victory at the 2017 Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate on March 28. It was the team's first win of the 2016-17 season and its third straight year bringing home the team title at Bulls Bay Golf Club
The Gamecocks have a week off before heading back to the midwest to compete in the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate. It’ll mark Carolina’s first ever appearance in the event, which takes place at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. The prestigious Pete Dye course has hosted the PGA Championship, the U.S. Women’s Open, the Solheim Cup, the U.S. Senior Open and the BMW Championship twice.
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