Spartanburg, S.C. - Coming off a second-place finish to 56th-ranked Notre Dame at The Match Play at Reunion two weeks ago, the USC Upstate men's golf team takes to the course for another stiff test as two top 50 teams highlight the field at the Charleston Shootout Monday and Tuesday.
The 14-team tournament will be a 54-hole event with teams playing 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. The tournament is being played at the Links at Stono Ferry, playing at 6,814 yards and a par-72 layout.
Joining Upstate in the tournament is Augusta State, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, Florida, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Longwood, Navy, Presbyterian College, Radford, Stephan F. Austin, Stetson and Western Kentucky. Florida enters the tournament ranked 25th in the nation, while Augusta State is 46th. At No. 91, College of Charleston is the third top 100 team in the tournament.
Head coach Todd Lawton will send the lineup of Adam Goins, Brian Horton, Tyler Comer, Matthew Hopper, Brad Sill and Danny Brock into action this week. The tournament format has six players playing to count four scores. The team is averaging 297.8 per round this season.
Upstate had a standout outing at The Match Play at Reunion, finishing second in the tournament. After claiming a win over Illinois State in the opening match, the Spartans claimed back-to-back wins over 59th-ranked South Florida to advance to the championship match against Notre Dame. They fell, 4 & 2, in the match. Horton finished the tournament with a perfect 4-0 record and was named the A-Sun Golfer of the Week.
Horton Earns First Career A-Sun Weekly Honor
After going 4-0, including three wins over players from nationally-ranked Notre Dame and South Florida, junior Brian Horton was named the A-Sun Golfer of the Week. It marked his first weekly honor from the league. He opened the tournament with a 4 & 3 victory over Illinois State's Jordan Fahel. He then took back-to-back wins over USF's Tommy Riehle, winning the first match 4 & 2 and the second 3 & 1. In the championship match against Notre Dame, he scored a 4 & 2 win over Tyler Wingo.
Winning Records Head-to-Head
Through the four tournaments of the fall, three Spartans emerged to lead the team on the season. Not surprisingly, all three have winning head-to-head records against the competition. Adam Goins not only tops the team with a 73.9 stroke average, but he tops the Spartans with a .765 winning percentage. Brian Horton is third on the team with a 75.3 stroke average, but second with a .669 winning percentage. Brad Sill is second on the team with a 75.2 stroke average and third with a .663 winning percentage.
Improving the First Round
While Upstate has had the good fortune to rebound from higher than expected first round scores and improve throughout the rest of each tournament, Upstate will look back at the fall and wonder what could have been if it had posted better first round scores. The Spartans averaged a 306.75 in the first round of tournaments. They went on to average 292.5 in the second round and 294.25 in the third. It marked a difference of 14 strokes in the second round and nearly 12 in the third.
Sill Turns in Solid Fall
Brad Sill is a quiet, unassuming young man who possesses tremendous talent on the course. While players like Adam Goins, Brian Horton, Matthew Hopper and Tyler Comer can come out of nowhere and post scores in the 60s and often garner all of the attention, Sill just goes about his business and posts consistent scores. For that reason, he ranks second on the team with a 75.2 stroke average. He has carded seven rounds of 74 or better through 12 rounds this year and turned in just two rounds in the 80s.
Spartans in the Rankings
After winning the Rutgers invitational, finishing middle of the pack in their other three fall events and claiming second in The Match Play at Reunion, Upstate is ranked in the top half of the Division I golf teams in the country. Upstate is ranked 140th by Golfstat and 143rd by Golfweek in their latest rankings.