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CofC, USC, Clemson Continue NCAA Golf Tournament

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College of Charleston

The College of Charleston men’s golf team sits in eighth after the second-round of tournament play at the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Southwest Regional Championship held on Friday at Briggs Ranch Golf Club.

The Cougars went 2-under par on the front nine behind the play of junior Zach Munroe (Charlotte, N.C.), who paces the squad with two consecutive under-par rounds of 70-71—141 and is tied for eighth at -3.

Sophomore John Jonas (Jacksonville, Fla.) and freshman William Rainey (Charlotte, N.C.) are tied for 39th at +3, while senior Alex Ellis (Austin, Texas) was 2-over for the day and is tied for 45th (+4). The average score on Friday was 73.08 as the field faced winds out of the south at 10-15 mph.

“We got off to a great start today,” CofC Head Coach Mark McEntire said. “In the middle of the round, we just lost our momentum. We wanted to be in position going into the last day and we have done that. Tomorrow is going to be fun and something our players will remember for a lifetime.”

No. 6-ranked and top-seeded Georgia holds a two-stroke lead with a 10-under 566 followed by No. 19 Vanderbilt (-8) which shot up the leaderboard with a 15-under, second-round score of 273. No. 31 SMU is third (-6), No. 43 Georgia State fourth (+1) and No. 18 UCLA, TCU and No. 42 Georgia Southern in a three-way tie for fifth (+2).

The Top 5-finishing teams and the low individual not on those teams after tomorrow’s final round will move on to the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship hosted by Wichita State on May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.

The Cougars, who are currently three strokes out of fifth place and still in contention, will be paired tomorrow with Georgia Southern and UCF and tee off No. 10 beginning at 7:30 a.m. (CT) / 8:30 a.m. (ET). Live tournament scoring will be available at: www.Golfstat.com.

USC

The fourth-seeded South Carolina men’s golf team will head into the final round of the NCAA Eugene Regional in position to clinch its second-straight NCAA Championship berth after shooting a 293 (+13) on Friday in the second round at Eugene Country Club.

The Gamecocks are in fourth place with a 36-hole total of 579 (+19) and are four strokes ahead of North Florida and Houston. The Cougars and Ospreys are tied for fifth with a total of 583 (+23). Top-seeded Stanford leads the tournament with a total of 558 (-2), and Oklahoma (567) and host Oregon (569) are second and third, respectively. The top five teams and low individual not on those teams will advance to next week’s NCAA Championship.

“It was another very similar day to yesterday,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “We looked good at times and we didn’t look so good at times. Overall we are still in the top five, which is a good thing. We’ve got our work cut out for us tomorrow. I think the guys are a bit frustrated. I know I am. I thought we were going to be a little bit more mentally prepared today to come out and get off to a better start. That hurt us a little bit. It seemed we were playing from behind the eight ball from the start today. The guys are fighting hard, and this is a tough golf course with very difficult pin positions today. We just have to keep grinding and get it done tomorrow.”

The pin placements proved to be tough for the entire field, as only six of the 75 golfers shot under par on Friday, and the round average was close to five strokes above par at 74.88.

For the second day in a row, sophomore Will Starke posted the lowest round for the Gamecocks, carding a 2-over 72 with five birdies and seven bogeys. Starke closed out the day in a tie for fifth with a 36-hole total of 140 (E), trailing Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers by seven strokes for the tournament lead. Rodgers shot a 67 (-3) on Friday and leads the regional with a total of 133 (-7).

Freshman Ben Dietrich carded a 73 (+3) and will enter the final round in 23rd place with a total of 145 (+5). He played his first 11 holes at 6-over but closed in strong fashion, playing the final seven holes at 3-under without a bogey.

Sophomore Matt NeSmith turned in a 75 (+5) and is in a tie for 24th with a two-round total of 147 (+7). He tallied two birdies and seven bogeys on the afternoon.

Juniors Caleb Sturgeon and Will Murphy both recorded their second-straight round of 74 (+4) and are in a tie for 31st with a total of 148 (+8). After playing the front side at 3-over with a birdie, two bogeys and a double bogey, Sturgeon played the back nine at 1-over with one birdie and two bogeys. Murphy concluded his round with two birdies and six bogeys.

The Gamecocks will tee off in the final round on Saturday beginning at 7:50 a.m. PDT and will be paired with Houston and North Florida. Live scoring will be available at golfstatresults.com.

SOUTH CAROLINA RESULTS

T5. Will Starke (3) 68-72=140 (E)

23. Ben Dietrich (5) 72-73=145 (+5)

T24. Matt NeSmith (1) 72-74=146 (+6)

T31. Will Murphy (2) 74-74=148 (+8)

T31. Caleb Sturgeon (4) 74-74=148 (+8)

TEAM STANDINGS

1. Stanford 276-282=558 (-2)

2. Oklahoma 280-287=567 (+7)

3. Oregon 289-280=569 (+9)

4. South Carolina 286-293=579 (+19)

T5. North Florida 286-297=583 (+23)

T5. Houston 290-293=583 (+23)

7. Chattanooga 295-292=587 (+27)

8. ETSU 296-293=589 (+29)

9. Tennessee 299-292=591 (+31)

10. Liberty 295-297=592 (+32)

11. Baylor 294-304=598 (+38)

12. Wichita State 295-312=607 (+47)

13. Northern Colorado 307-304=611 (+51)

Clemson

Stephen Behr, Cody Proveaux, Austin Langdale and Carson Young all had rounds of one-over-par 73 on Friday to lead Clemson to a 292 team score and a third-place standing after two rounds of the NCAA Sugar Grove Regional at Rich Harvest Farms Golf Club in Sugar Grove, Ill.

Clemson rests in third place with a 36-hole score of 591, seven shots off the lead held by UAB. Most importantly, Clemson is six shots ahead of sixth-place Purdue, who has a 597 score. The top five teams in the 14-team regional after Saturday’s final round will advance to the NCAA National Championship Tournament in Hutchinson, Kan on May 27.

UAB holds the team lead at 584 followed by Illinois at 585. Clemson is third at 591, while fourth ranked California is fourth at 593 and 16th ranked Southern Cal if fifth at 594.

For the second straight day the 14 teams started in poor weather. In fact the start of play was delayed two and a half hours due to snow. When the teams began at 10:30 Central time the temperature was 38 degrees and it was raining.

For the second straight day Clemson got off to a poor start and was at nine over par for nine holes and in sixth place at 20 over par for the tournament. But, for the second straight day, Clemson rallied. The Tigers played the back nine in five-under-par as a team and jumped back to third place by the time the team was playing the final three holes.

“I am very proud of this team through two day,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “We have gotten off to a rough start each day, but they have not hung their heads and have battled back. That is the sign of maturity, but we still have a young team with three sophomores and two freshmen.

“The key hole was really 17. Our counting players made three birdies and an eagle on that hole. We decided we had been giving that hole too much respect the previous day. Today we went for the green with our second shots and you can see the results.

“We are not going into tomorrow to just try to make the five-team cut. We want to win the golf tournament.”

As stated above, all four Clemson counters shot the same score, one over par 73. In doing so, freshman Carson Young stands in a tie for second place in the individual race with a 145 total through two days. He trails Illinois top player Brian Campbell, who is at five under par. Young is trying to become just the fourth Clemson freshman to finish in the top 10 of an NCAA regional. The others are Richard Coughlan (1994), Gregg Jones (2001) and Kyle Stanley (2007).

As stated above, all four Clemson counters shot the same score, one over par 73. In doing so, freshman Carson Young stands in a tie for second place in the individual race with a 145 total through two days. He is trying to become just the fourth Clemson freshman to finish in the top 10 of an NCAA regional. The others are Richard Coughlan (1994), Gregg Jones (2001) and Kyle Stanley (2007).Young finished strong on Friday with birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes.

Proveaux had a strong second nine that was highlighted by a 20 foot putt for birdie on the par four 12th, a miraculous up and down from a gully by the par three 13th green, a 20 footer for birdie on 14, a 20 foot putt for par on 15 and a two putt birdie on 17. Proveaux is just outside the top 10 in 12th place individually with a 147 total entering Saturday’s final round.

Freshman Austin Langdale started with three straight bogeys, but played the last 15 holes in two under par. His day included the only eagle of the tournament so far by a Clemson golfer. He hit his approach from 220 yards to within five feet on the par five 17th.hole. He also made an incredible par on the 15th hole when he skipped the ball across a lake into a bunker, then hit the bunker shot to within a foot of the hole to save par.

Stephen Behr was his normal consistent self with a 73 on Friday that included eight pars and a birdie on the back nine. The Clemson sophomore stands in 21st place individually.

Miller Capps had his second straight 79, but he did have consecutive birdies on the 12th and 13th holes when he hit his approach shot inside two feet.

NCAA Sugar Grove Regional

Team Scores after Two Rounds

UAB 584, 2. Illinois 585, 3. Clemson 591, 4. California 593, 5. Southern California 594, 6. Purdue 597, 7. Jacksonville State and Kent State 608, 9. Cleveland State 613, 10. UNLV 617, 11. Cal Fullterton 628, 12. Mississippi State 629, 13. New Mexico State 632, St. Peter’s 662.

Clemson Individuals

2. Carson Young 145, 12. Cody Proveaux 147, 19. Austin Langdale 149, 21. Stephen Behr 150, 49. Miller Capps 158.

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