Florence, S.C. – Pressured early in the round, the USC Upstate men's golf team played solid golf over the final nine holes to hold off all challengers and claimed the team championship at the Springhill Suites Intercollegiate Tuesday afternoon at the Country Club of South Carolina.
Upstate started the day with an eight-shot lead after turning in a school record 277 in the second round on Monday. However, the Spartans had given back most of its lead over the first nine holes. The Spartans stiffened with resolve and played the final seven holes under par to win the team championship by two strokes over Presbyterian. The Spartans shot a 291 Tuesday and claimed the title with an 852 total. It is the eighth team championship for the Spartans since moving to Division I in 2007.
"We were playing in the final grouping and it was intense," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "We had given up most of our lead by the turn, but these guys were determined to win. They did an awesome job and it was an exciting finish in a tournament with a strong field. Even though this team has some youth on it, it is very mature. It is a very exciting way to start the season and we look forward to going to Rutgers this weekend."
Upstate posted seven rounds under par in the tournament and another at even-par to turn in a strong three rounds of golf. The Spartans shot 291 Tuesday with rounds of 71, 73, 73 and 74 counting. They won the tournament with an 852 total. Presbyterian finished second at 854 and was followed by Samford (857), Elon (858), Francis Marion (858), Wofford (862), Radford (869), Jacksonville (872), Georgia College (877), Appalachian State (881), Longwood (885) and George Mason (903).
Upstate's Ryan Cornfield (Dudley, England) finished tied for second to lead the Upstate cause in the tournament. After opening with rounds of 69 and 67 Monday, he closed with a 73 and finished second with a 209 total, three strokes back of individual champion Carter Davis (206) from Presbyterian.
Adam Goins finished under par in all three rounds of the tournament and claimed sixth with a 210 total. He shot 71 in the final round. Danny Brock (Simpsonville, S.C.) claimed a tie for 21st with a 216 total, carding a 73 in the final round. Freshman Taylor White (Duncan, S.C.) shot a 74 Tuesday and finished tied for 24th with a 217 total in his first collegiate tournament.
After capturing the team championship at the Springhill Suites Intercollegiate, Upstate will return to the course Friday and Saturday when it returns to the Rutgers Invitational for the sixth time. The Spartans have enjoyed tremendous success at Rutgers, winning the team championship three times and having a Spartan win the individual title on four occasions in the previous five visits. Upstate has won the last two team championships and Goins has claimed back-to-back individual titles.