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Gamecocks Advance to Fourth Round of NCAA Championship


With its season on the line, the No. 6 South Carolina men’s golf team delivered its best round of the NCAA Championship on Sunday, shooting an even-par 288 in the third round at The Concession Golf Club.

 A lightning delay late in the evening forced nine teams to finish their rounds on Monday morning. The Gamecocks finished the morning wave on Sunday five shots outside the top 15 with a total of 887 (+23), but by the time all scores had been turned in for the afternoon wave on Monday morning, Carolina had moved into a tie for 12th place to secure one of 15 spots in the final round of stroke play. The top eight teams at the conclusion of the fourth round will advance to match play. The Gamecocks enter the final round nine shots outside the top eight. Carolina will tee off at 10 a.m. in the fourth round off hole No. 10 and will be paired with SMU and Auburn. Golf Channel will carry live coverage of the fourth round beginning at 12:30 p.m.

 Georgia holds the lead going into the final round with a total of 867 (+3). Southern California (870, +6), LSU (871, +7), Vanderbilt (872, +8), Illinois (873, +9), Texas (874, +10), South Florida (877, +13), UCLA (878, +14) and Georgia Tech (878, +14) round out the top eight.

 All four Gamecocks whose score counted on Sunday shot 74 or better. Junior Will Starke led the way with his second-straight round under par, firing a 2-under 70 to move into a tie for 30th with a total of 219 (+3). He played steady early on, recording four-straight pars after a birdie on No. 3, but back-to-back bogeys on holes eight and nine left him at 1-over at the turn. However, he played his best golf on the back nine, shooting a bogey-free 33 (-3) to finish his day at 2-under.

 Junior Sean Kelly also finished the day under par, posting his second 71 (-1) of the tournament. He enters the final round tied for 71st with a total of 225 (+9). A native of Staten Island, N.Y., Kelly played his first 14 holes in 3-under without a bogey before recording bogeys on two of his final four holes.

 Junior Matt NeSmith tallied a team-best five birdies on the day but was unable to finish in red numbers because of a pair of bogeys and double bogeys as he was able to grind out a 1-over 73. He finished the round tied for 30th with a total of 219 (+3).

 Senior Caleb Sturgeon played his best round of the championship as he carded a 2-over 74, recording two birdies and four bogeys, to move into a tie for 84th with a total of 227 (+11). Rounding out the lineup, senior Will Murphy shot a 78 and will enter Monday’s round tied for 151st with a total of 241 (+25).

 Individually, SMU’s Bryson Dechambeau holds a one-shot lead with a total of 209 (-7).

 Round Changer
 The Gamecocks cut back on the mistakes and made just 18 bogeys or worse on Sunday after recording 29 in the first round and 27 in round two.

•       The Gamecocks round of even-par 288 was just the 10th round of par or better in three rounds of play at The Concession Golf Club.
•       Carolina made just 18 bogeys or worse in the third round after making 29 in the first round and 27 in the second round.
•       The top eight teams at the conclusion of the fourth round will advance to match play.
•       NeSmith recorded a team-best five birdies on Sunday.
•       Kelly played a bogey-free front nine, recording two birdies and seven pars.
•       Starke turned in a bogey-free back nine, tallying three birdies and six pars.
•       Starke is tied for the tournament lead in par-5 scoring with an average of 4.25 (-9).

 Up Next
 The Gamecocks will tee off in the fourth round Monday beginning at 10 a.m. and will be paired with SMU and Auburn. Live scoring will be available at golfstatresults.com. Golf Channel will carry live coverage beginning at 12:30 p.m.

 T30. Matthew NeSmith (1)        74-72-73=219 (+3)
 T30. Will Starke (2)            78-71-70=219 (+3)
 T71. Sean Kelly (3)             71-83-71=225 (+9)
 T84. Caleb Sturgeon (5)         78-75-74=227 (+11)
 T151. Will Murphy (4)           83-80-78=241 (+25)

 1. Georgia                      288-293-286=867 +3
 2. Southern California          289-285-296=870 +6
 3. LSU                          292-289-290=871 +7
 4. Vanderbilt                   301-284-287=872 +8
 5. Illinois                     286-291-296=873 +9
 6. Texas                        294-300-280=874 +10
 7. South Florida                        294-291-292=877 +13
 T8. UCLA                        294-304-280=878 +14
 T8. Georgia Tech                293-295-290=878 +14
 10. TCU                         296-293-291=880 +16
 11. Florida State                       298-292-293=883 +19
 T12. San Diego State            290-299-298=887 +23
 T12. Auburn                     301-290-296=887 +23
 T12. South Carolina             301-298-288=887 +23
 T15. SMU                        296-303-291=890 +26
 --Missed Cut--
 T15. Washington                         301-294-295=890 +26
 17. Texas Tech                  304-305-282=891 +27
 18. Virginia                    300-294-299=893 +29
 T19. Oklahoma State             298-294-304=896 +32
 T19. UAB                        308-292-296=896 +32
 21. Stanford                    310-297-292=899 +35
 22. Charlotte                   298-295-308=901 +37
 23. Oregon                      300-294-308=902 +38
 T24. Arizona State              299-306-298=903 +39
 T24. Duke                       297-309-297=903 +39
 T26. UNLV                       302-294-310=906 +42
 T26. Houston                    301-312-293=906 +42
 T28. Florida                    293-309-308=910 +46
 T28. Oklahoma                   312-299-299=910 +46
 30. Clemson                     306-309-300=915 +51






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