The Daily Gamecock

NeSmith places first at SEC Men's Golf Championship

For the second time in program history, a member of the South Carolina men’s golf team earned medalist honors at the SEC Championship as junior Matt NeSmith did so this past weekend in the event, which took place in St. Simons Island, Georgia. 

As a team, South Carolina came up just a bit short of bringing home its first ever SEC title as the Gamecocks came in tied for second, finishing three strokes behind LSU.

South Carolina’s 54-hole total of 830 (-10) shattered the previous school-record of 838 (-2), set last season.

The second-place finish was the fourth in SEC Championship history for the Gamecocks.

NeSmith took a one shot lead into the final round and cruised on Sunday as he won the tournament by six strokes. Thanks to his 54-hole total of 196 (-14).

NeSmith’s is the first Gamecock to finish first at the SEC Championship since Eric Ecker won a rain-shortened event in 1998.

The victory is NeSmith’s second in a row, and he’s the first Gamecock to win back-to-back tournaments since 1993.

"As far as Matt NeSmith goes, that's some of the best golf I've ever seen," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "He made one bogey in three rounds, and I had the pleasure of being able to walk and watch all of it."

NeSmith recorded just a single bogey in his three rounds combined. With rounds of 65, 64 and 67, he has recorded seven straight rounds in the 60s. His three-day total of 196 is a school-record for an SEC Championship.

“This win means a lot to me,” NeSmith said. “I played really, really well all week. The one bogey is proof of that. I never really got in any bad spots and made a lot of putts. It was just a really fun weekend.”

Senior Will Murphy finished in a tie for seventeenth place with a score of -1. Juniors Sean Kelly and Will Starke finished at +5 and +7, respectively. Senior Caleb Sturgeon also finished at +7, 21 shots back of NeSmith.

The Gamecocks hope their solid finish will give them a regional site close to home. NCAA regional pairings will be announced on May 5 and will take place May 14-16.

Women finish second at SEC Championship

Like the South Carolina men’s team, the No. 2 South Carolina women’s golf team finished second at the SEC Championship. 

South Carolina was just one of two teams to finish under-par at the event. As a unit, the Gamecocks finished with a three-day total of 863 (-1), 12 strokes behind No. 13 Texas A&M (-13).

South Carolina finished four strokes ahead of Vanderbilt, which placed third in the event.

The Gamecocks were led by strong performances from sophomore Katelyn Dambaugh and senior Justine Dreher.

The two teammates both placed fourth overall, finishing four under-par.

Dambaugh entered Sunday’s final round in second-place, but shot +2 on the last day of competition.

Meanwhile, Dreher saved her best golf for Sunday, when she shot two under-par in the final round. 


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