Oref Claims First Career Top 20 Finish, Spartans 9th At Sea Trail
Sunset Beach, S.C. – In his first tournament in almost a year, sophomore McKenzie Oref claimed his first ever top 20 finish to finish as the low Spartan, and the USC Upstate men's golf team finished tied for ninth in the Sea Trail Intercollegiate Sunday afternoon at the Sea Trail Golf Resort.
Oref, from Easley, S.C., carded a 73 on Sunday in the final round of the 54-hole tournament played on the Jones Course. He finished with a 216 total to finish tied for 16th. Prior to this tournament, his lowest finish had been a tie for 36th at the Rutgers Invitational in 2009. Oref also made history this weekend when he shot a 66 in Friday's first round. The 66 tied former Upstate great Josh Gallman for the lowest round ever in the program, but it topped the record for the most strokes under par, 6-under for the round. Gallman's 66 came on a par-71 course.
Oref was the low Spartan on the day. Brad Sill (Spartanburg), Matthew Hopper (Gaffney, S.C.) and Tyler Comer (Pacolet Mills, S.C.) each shot a 75 on Sunday as Upstate posted a 298 in the final round. The Spartans finished with an 877 total and tied A-Sun foe Stetson for ninth. Will Graves (Rock Hill, S.C.) finished with a 77 on Sunday.
"At our best, we are deeper and stronger than we have ever been," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "But, we are missing scores in the 60's. To have one round below 72 in a 54-hole tournament, you are not going to be at the top of the leaderboard. We are going to have to have players make some more putts and hit more greens. One or two shots out of each player can totally change the game in a very tight field. I am proud of McKenzie playing so well over three days. It was a great way to start his season and I look forward to seeing more of that out of him."
Elon, the host of the tournament, entered the final round with a 14-stroke lead over George Mason. The Phoenix shot a 291 on Sunday. However, George Mason finished with a 286 and couldn't close the gap. Samford, though, went low and carded a 280 on Sunday. Still, Elon took the team title by six strokes over Samford, which leaped over George Mason for second. Elon finished with an 850 total, while Samford was second at 856.
George Mason was third with an 859 total and was followed by High Point (861), Guilford (864), Charleston Southern (866), Delaware (870), Wofford (873), Upstate (877), Stetson (877), Bethune-Cookman (881) and Appalachian State (886). High Point's Chase Wilson shot a 70 on Sunday to claim the individual championship with a 10-under, 206 total.
Sill finished as the second-lowest Spartan in the tournament. His 221 total was good for a tie for 33rd. Hopper and Graves each totaled 222 to finish tied for 39th, while Comer claimed a tie for 49th with a 224 total.