Spartans Set for Back-to-Back Tournament Appearances
Spartanburg, S.C. - Coming off of a third-place finish at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate, the USC Upstate men's golf team will be back in action in two tournaments over a five-day period when it takes to the course at the River Landing Intercollegiate and the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational. The River Landing Intercollegiate will be played April 8-9 at River Landing Country Club in Wallace, N.C., and the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational will be played April 11-12 at the Country Club of Spartanburg.
The River Landing Country Club is a par-72 course that plays at 6,997 yards. The 15-team field will play 36 holes on Friday and 18 on Saturday. Joining Upstate in the field will be East Carolina, Jacksonville, Lamar, Liberty, Maryland, Memphis, North Carolina State, UNC Wilmington, Old Dominion, St. John's, Seton Hall, Virginia and Winthrop.
The Country Club of Spartanburg, site of the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational, is a par-72 course that plays at 6,648 yards. It is a 54-hole events with 36 holes played on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Upstate posted a 2-under-par team score last year to finish second in the event behind A-Sun foe East Tennessee State. Matthew Hopper is the only player in the lineup this year that played in last year's event. He finished tied for 11th at 1-over.
Upstate head coach Todd Lawton will send the lineup of Brad Sill, Hopper, Tyler Comer, Adam Goins and Nelson Dickson into action in both tournaments. McKenzie Oref will join the group as an individual at the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational. Upstate averages 295.5 per round. Sill leads the team with a 73.2 stroke average, while Hopper is right behind at 74 and Comer at 74.3.
Looking Back at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate
Behind the play of Tyler Comer, Upstate finished third out of 24 teams at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate March 22 in Williamsburg, Va. The Spartans turned in back-to-back rounds of 291 to finish with a 582 total. The Spartans finished 10 shots back of tournament winner James Madison and two strokes behind Radford in second. Comer was strong throughout the tournament, posting rounds of 70 and 73 to finish at 1-under-par for the tournament and in a tie for fourth. He was playing in his first event of the spring season. Matthew Hopper and Adam Goins finished tied for 16th, while Brad Sill was tied for 20th, giving Upstate four players in the top 20.
Ten 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 has used seven different lineups so far this season.
Comer Provides Spark "Off the Bench"
After sitting out the first three tournaments of the spring season, sophomore Tyler Comer made a splash in his first event, finishing tied for fourth in the C&F Bank Intercollegiate, finishing with rounds of 70 and 73 to lead the Spartans to a third-place finish.
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.
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.