March 21, 2011

Spartans on the Tee at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate

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Spartanburg, S.C. - Two weeks after winning the Caribbean Intercollegiate with freshman Adam Goins winning the individual championship and a week after competing in one of the top tournaments in college golf, the USC Upstate men's golf team heads back to the course to face a large field in the C&F Bank Intercollegiate Monday and Tuesday.

The C&F Bank Intercollegiate has 21 teams that will compete for the tournament championship. It will be played on the Woods Course at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamburg, Va. It is a 36-hole event with 18 holes being played each day. The Woods Course plays at 6,659 yards and is a par-72 layout.

Joining Upstate in the tournament is Bucknell, Canisius, Central Connecticut State, Delaware, Fairfield, Georgetown, IPFW, IUPUI, James Madison, Maryland, Niagara, UNC Greensboro, Princeton, Radford, St. Bonaventure, St. Francis (PA), St. Joseph's, Seton Hall, Towson and William and Mary. The Spartans are the only A-Sun team in the event.

Upstate head coach Todd Lawton will take the lineup of Brad Sill, Matthew Hopper, Nelson Dickson, Adam Goins and Tyler Comer into action this week. This is the first time Lawton has sent this lineup into action this season, marking the seventh different lineup he has used in nine tournaments this year. Sill continues to lead Upstate. He owns a 73.2 stroke average and claimed a top 25 finish at last week's General Hackler Championship in a field that contained seven teams ranked in the top 50 in the latest Golfstat ranking. He has two top 10 and one top five finishes on the year. Hopper ranks second on the team with a 74.1 stroke average and owns two top five and top 10 finishes on the year. Dickson has been steady throughout the spring and owns a 76 stroke average. Goins won the Caribbean Intercollegiate two weeks ago, becoming the first freshman in program history to win a tournament, while Comer will see his first action since October.

Looking Back at the General Hackler Championship
In one of the strongest fields the Upstate men's golf program has ever played against in the history of the program, the Spartans claimed a 13th-place finish in the 17-team General Hackler Championship last week. The tournament, played at the TPC of Myrtle Beach, had seven teams ranked in the top 50 in the latest Golfstat ranking. Upstate turned in rounds of 306, 316 and 319 to finish 13th. The Spartans led No. 22 Wake Forest after 36 holes, but the Demon Deacons moved ahead on the leaderboard after the final round. Brad Sill was solid in the tournament, claiming a top 25 finish in the very strong field. He shot rounds of 74, 78 and 74 to finish tied for 24th as the low Spartan in the tournament. Matthew Hopper was the second-lowest Spartan in the tournament, finishing tied for 46th. Nelson Dickson was solid, finishing tied for 51st.

Nine Tournaments, Seven Lineups
Using several different lineups throughout the season typically indicates one of two things: 1) the coach is searching for a lineup that works for the best results; 2) the competition for spots in tournaments is so close that a new person can pop into the lineup from time to time. Fortunately for head coach Todd Lawton, it is the latter. The Spartans are so close that just 2.4 strokes per round separate the third-lowest Spartan from the player ranked ninth on the stroke average list. Upstate will send its seventh different lineup into action this week.

Goins Makes History at Caribbean Intercollegiate
In a season of firsts, Adam Goins made history for Upstate when he claimed the individual championship at the Caribbean Intercollegiate (March 6-8). He became the first freshman to ever win an individual title at Upstate, finishing the tournament at 7-under to win by three strokes.

Sill Tops All Spartan Golfers
One tournament after teammate Matthew Hopper turned in a third-place showing at the Davidson Invitational, Brad Sill finished one spot better, taking second place at the Stetson Invitational to close out the fall season. It capped a strong fall for the sophomore and first-year Spartan who leads the team with a 73.2 stroke average. He had a solid outing in a very strong field at the General Hackler Championship (March 13-14), finishing tied for 24th with rounds of 74, 78 and 74.

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.