Upstate Men’s Golf Falls in Championship Match to Notre Dame
Orlando, Fla. – The USC Upstate men's golf team advanced to the championship match of The Match Play at Reunion Tuesday afternoon, but fell to No. 55 Notre Dame 4-2 to close out a successful spring season opener.
Upstate had advanced to the championship match after dispatching No. 59 USF, 4 ½ & 1 ½, earlier in the day. It marked the second straight win over USF in as many days.
In the championship match, Tyler Comer (Spartanburg, S.C.) and Brian Horton (Boiling Springs, S.C.) each won their matches to give Upstate its two points. However, Notre Dame claimed four wins to take the match and the championship.
"Playing for a championship against a legendary school like Notre Dame was what we came to this tournament for this week," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "They are talented and efficient on the course. We stayed with them through the turn, but missed some crucial putts and a couple approaches on holes 11-14. That was the difference. I really believe it could have gone either way. This was a great a great way to start the spring and we can use this to build excitement for our next tournaments."
Comer, playing at the No. 4 position, took a dominant 4&3 win over Paul McNamara. Horton, playing at the No. 5 spot, turned in his fourth win of the tournament with a 4&2 victory over Tyler Wingo.
Notre Dame, though, claimed wins at the first three positions and at No. 6 to take the match. Max Scodro defeated Adam Goins (Gaffney, S.C.), 5&4, at No. 1. Tom Usher took a 3&2 win over Matthew Hopper (Gaffney, S.C.) at No. 2. Niall Platt claimed a 4&2 victory over Brad Sill (Spartanburg, S.C.) at the No. 3 spot. Chris Walker scored a 4&3 victory over Danny Brock (Simpsonville, S.C.) at No. 6.
"Brian was dominant winning all 4 matches without delay," said Lawton. "He anchored us. All the guys did very well. Adam (Goins) faced the number one players from two top schools and went 2-1. Tyler beat his opponent handily for one of our two wins against Notre Dame."
Upstate advanced to the championship match after taking a strong 4 ½ - 1 ½ victory over South Florida in one semifinal match. Goins, Hopper, Comer and Horton each claimed wins in the match, while Brock halved his match.
Goins scored a dominant 5&4 victory over Devin Hernandez at the No. 1 position. Hopper took a 3&1 win over Trey Valentine, the second win of the tournament for Hopper over the 34th-ranked player in the nation. Comer took a 3&2 win over Branden Collins at the No. 4 spot, while Horton took a 3&1 victory over Tommy Riehle at No. 5.
Brock halved his match with Rick Kittelstad at the No. 6 position. The only blemish in the match against USF was Sill dropping a thrilling and tension-filled 1Up match to Bodi Karsano at the No. 3 position.
"What a great day and exciting time on the golf course," said Lawton. "We played two strong teams today and stood tall. This morning's matches were played exactly as we needed.
"It is so difficult to beat the same opponent back to back, especially when they are so highly ranked. I am proud of each player and excited for what this does for our program. USF has great players and they are well coached."