Hopper Fifth Heading Into Final Round At Davidson Invitational
Davidson, N.C. – USC Upstate men's golfer and Gaffney, S.C., native Matthew Hopper turned in a sold 75 in the first round of the Davidson Invitational Monday morning, then carded a 3-under-par 69 in the second round Monday afternoon to vault into a tie for fifth heading into the final round on Tuesday.
Hopper, a sophomore, has methodically lowered his scores in each tournament this season and went low in the second round to move to even par for the tournament. He is in position for his first top 10 finish of the year.
"Matthew was all over the hole most of the day," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "Everything about his round was good. He has matured so much with his patience. He still has a fire in him, but he has been able to stay focused with his game, like he did today to get back to even par."
Spartanburg's Brad Sill also turned in a pair of solid rounds for Upstate, finishing with scores of 72 and 74. He is tied for 15th heading into the final round.
While Hopper and Sill are in position to record top 20 or better finishes, the other Spartans found it tougher to be around par. Upstate finished the first round with a team score of 300 and lowered that total to 295 in the afternoon round. Upstate stands eighth in the 13-team field with a 595 total.
Wofford shot rounds of 296 and 280 to take the lead with a 576 total. The Terriers lead Guilford (583) by seven strokes. Presbyterian College stands third with a 585 total and is followed by College of Charleston (588), Western Carolina (589), Davidson (593), Cincinnati (593), Upstate (595), Radford (596), Gardner-Webb (603), High Point (605), Elon (607) and Appalachian State (611).
Coming off of a 19th-place finish last week, Brian Horton turned in consistent back-to-back rounds of 76 as the third-lowest Spartan one the day. He is tied for 44th with a 152 total. Adam Goins (Gaffney, S.C.), playing in the lineup for the first time in his career after his collegiate debut as an individual last week, turned in rounds of 78 and 76. He is tied for 55th. Nelson Dickson (Spartanburg) made his collegiate debut Monday and carded rounds of 77 and 78 and is tied for 57th.
"The golf course is long and demanding, and forces you to make some decisions off the tee whether to put the ball in the fairway and leave some long approach shots or try to cut the corners to leave shorter shots into the green," said Lawton. "How you approach the course and the decisions you make determine the scores you are going to shoot. All five guys contributed today with a score that counted in each round. While we are not where we want to be with our overall scores, we have tremendous depth and I think that will pay dividends in the future."
Guilford's Noah Ratner shot rounds of 68 and 71 to take the individual lead at 5-under-par.