Nov. 2, 2017
Men's Golf at Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic
LAHAINA, Hawaii -- South Carolina is in Hawaii to finish its fall schedule for the second-straight season at the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic. First round action gets underway tomorrow afternoon with a shotgun start at 2:30 p.m. ET.
Round two (Saturday) and round three (Sunday) will also be shotgun starts at 2:30 p.m. ET. The Gamecocks are paired with Hawaii, Indiana and Bowling Green for the opening round on Friday.
Carolina is fresh off its third win in the last four seasons at the Camden Collegiate Invitational (Oct. 21-22). It was the definition of a team win for the Gamecocks, as every player in the lineup had their score count at least twice.
FROM THE COACH
“It’s always really cool to take your team to Hawaii. I like the fact that we’ve got some good vibes from last year and a very similar team going from last year as well, which is always a positive. The course is great. It’s a great venue. It’s something the guys look for as soon as the schedule comes out. There’s no question about their motivation to go out there and do a bit better than last year – maybe come back with a win and finish the fall strong.” -- associate had coach Jake Amos
HISTORY AT THE KA’ANAPALI COLLEGIATE CLASSIC
Carolina competed in the Ka’anapali Collegiate Invitational for the first time in 2016. The Gamecocks had a rock solid tournament, shooting under par every round en route to a fifth place finish at 840 (-12). The team was in the lead after day one at 2-under par. Scott Stevens was outstanding, shooting under par every round en route to a T-6th finish. His 203 was the seventh lowest 54-hole score in program history. After shooting even par in round one, the Chattanooga, Tenn., native went 65-67 to finish the tournament at 10-under. Keenan Huskey finished T-19th after opening with a 66 in round one to lead the field.
The Gamecocks posted a fall-best 62 birdies, which ranked second in the field. 34 of those red numbers belonged to Stevens (18) and Huskey (16). Clemson took home the team title at 26-under after going low in the final round with a tournament best 264 (-20). Georgia (-25), LSU (-24) and Oklahoma (-18) rounded out the four teams in front of Carolina.
It’s a solid 21-team field at this year’s event led by No. 12 LSU and No. 15 Kent State. South Carolina, Wyoming and Kansas all received votes in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Coaches Poll released on Oct. 20.
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 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 will have the next few months off before kicking off their strong spring schedule. Carolina will open with the All-American Intercollegiate in Houston again for the third consecutive season Feb. 16-18.
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