October 11, 2010

Spartans Send Six For Tough Test At Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate

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Spartanburg, S.C. - USC Upstate head coach Todd Lawton will send his third different lineup into the third tournament this fall when the Spartans play in the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate hosted by Georgia Southern at Savannah Quarters Country Club Monday and Tuesday.

Savannah Quarters Country Club is a par 72, 7,016-yard layout designed by Greg Norman, who held the record for the most weeks ranked No. 1 in the world professional rankings prior to Tiger Woods dominating the sport of men's golf. The club was also the site of the 2007 NCAA Division II Regional that was a springboard for the Upstate men's golf team to the NCAA Nationals a second-place finish.

The Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate is a 15-team event played over 54 holes. The teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. In addition to Upstate, A-Sun schools Florida Gulf Coast and Jacksonville will participate in the tournament. The field consists of Arkansas State, Armstrong Atlantic State, Charleston Southern, Davidson, Elon, FGCU, Gardner-Webb, Georgia College & State University, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Samford, USC Upstate, Troy, Winthrop and Wofford.

Upstate will send the lineup of Brad Sill, Tyler Comer, Brian Horton, Matthew Hopper and McKenzie Oref into action this week. Adam Goins will also play in the tournament as an individual. The lineup is the third different lineup used by Lawton this year with Horton and Goins making their 2010 tournament debuts this week.

Coming off of a strong effort at the Sea Trail Intercollegiate, Oref took over the team lead with a 72.0 stroke average on the year. Sill, who is playing his first season in an Upstate uniform after spending his freshman year at Winthrop, is second with a 73.8 stroke average. Comer and Hopper have been steady at 74.7 and 74.8, respectively. Horton has yet to play in a tournament this season, but owns a career 77.5 stroke average.

Looking Back At The Sea Trail Intercollegiate
McKenzie Oref opened the tournament with a 6-under-par 66 and claimed a tie for 16th individually to lead Upstate at the Sea Trail Intercollegiate Sept. 24-26. The 66 tied a school record for the lowest round and broke the school's record for the round most under par. The 66 highlighted a solid effort for the sophomore from Easley, S.C., who was playing in his first tournament since last October. In addition to Oref, every member of the team turned in a round of 73 or better in the tournament. The Spartans finished the event tied for ninth with A-Sun foe Stetson. Brad Sill finished with rounds of 73, 73 and 75 as the second-lowest Spartan, finishing tied for 33rd. Elon, the host of the tournament, claimed the team championship.

Oref Makes History At Sea Trail
Sophomore McKenzie Oref learned a lot from playing with former Upstate standout Josh Gallman last year. Gallman is the best player to ever play in the history of the men's golf program. But, Oref can claim one achievement that Gallman cannot, owning the school record for the lowest round under par. Oref tied Gallman with a 66 as the lowest score in program history, but his 6-under total is the most under par at Upstate. Gallman's 66 came on a par-71 course and was 5-under.

Horton Makes 2010 Tournament Debut
With a tremendously deep team, qualifying for tournament spots has been intense so far this season. Sophomore Brian Horton, who played in 10 events last year for Upstate, had to sit out the first two tournaments of 2010 after just missing out in team qualifying. With a strong outing in qualifying last week, he comes into the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate in the No. 3 spot. He finished last year with a 76.5 stroke average and claimed a share of the individual championship at the Palmas Del Mar Collegiate Classic with Josh Gallman last spring, his first tournament victory.

Scores Coming Down
Tyler Comer, Matthew Hopper and McKenzie Oref have led the contingent of returning players this season. Each have lowered their stroke average this season from over their career averages. Oref entered the season with a 75.5 career average and owns a 72 stroke average, an improvement of 3.5 strokes. Hopper entered the season with 77.3 stroke average, but owns a 74.8 average this season, an improvement of 2.5 strokes. Comer entered the season with a 76.4 average, but owns a 74.7 average this season, an improvement of 1.7 strokes.

Gallman, Lawrence In Q School Pre-Qualifying
Former Upstate standouts Josh Gallman and Michael Lawrence each made the cut in pre-qualifying for PGA Q School and have advanced to the first stage of Q School later this month.