Amelia Island, Fla. – USC Upstate junior and Spartanburg native Brad Sill turned in rounds of 74 and 71 to lead the USC Upstate men's golf team on the first day of the Amelia National Intercollegiate. He stands tied for 19th heading into the final round on Tuesday.
Sill turned in the low round for Upstate in each of the first and second rounds Monday. He is tied for 19th with a 145 total and is just two strokes out of the top 10.
"Brad played great," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "I don't usually talk about 'could have beens," but his day was filled with them. He played even better than his scores reflected and had fun doing it."
Upstate had a tough round out of the gate, turning in a 310 in the first round. The Spartans stood 15th after the first round. However, they rebounded to shoot 292 in Monday's second round, shaving 18 strokes off of their score, to move up four spots on the leaderboard. Upstate is just six shots out of a top seven finish.
"We played smarter and much better in the second round," said Lawton. "It's great to play in such a great tournament with a very strong field. We know low scores are out there and need to post one tomorrow. We are very close to a top seven finish and it is a goal of the guys to get there."
A-Sun foe and sixth-ranked North Florida turned in rounds of 279 and 278 to take the lead after 36 holes on the first day. The Ospreys own a 557 total. Texas A&M, ranked 13th, is second at 570 and is followed by Virginia Commonwealth (572), Georgia Southern (580), Troy (585), Xavier (588), Wofford (596), Winthrop (598), Penn State (599), Jacksonville (601), Upstate (602), Furman (608), Francis Marion (608), Arkansas State (612) and Elon (617).
While Upstate counted scores of 79 and 80 in the first round, all five scores in the second round were 76 or better, allowing the Spartans to move up the on leaderboard.
Matthew Hopper (Gaffney, S.C.) shot rounds of 77 and 75 and is the second-best Spartan in the tournament. He is tied for 44th with a 152 total. He is seven strokes back of Sill.
Adam Goins (Gaffney, S.C.) carded rounds of 80 and 74 and is tied for 55th with a 154 total. Brian Horton (Boiling Springs, S.C.) is tied for 57th after rounds of 79 and 76, while Tyler Comer (Spartanburg, S.C.) turned in rounds of 84 and 72 and is tied for 64th. He improved his score by 12 strokes from the first round to the second.
North Florida's Sean Dale had a strong first day of the tournament and owns the individual lead. He posted round of 2-under 70 and 5-under 67 to finish the day at 7-under. He owns a one-stroke lead over teammate Kevin Phelan heading into the final round on Tuesday.