The South Carolina men’s golf team made a run at the program’s first SEC title on Sunday but it came up short, finishing runner-up by two strokes to second-ranked Alabama with a total of 10-over 850 at Sea Island Golf Club.
The Gamecocks, who shot a final-round, 15-over 295, entered the day with a three-shot lead, but Alabama posted a 290 to win with a 54-hole total of 848.
“I was really proud of the guys this week,” said USC coach Bill McDonald, whose team posted the lowest 54-hole SEC Championship score in school history. “They gave us a chance to win, arguably, the best conference championship in the country.”
USC’s Caleb Sturgeon carded a final-round, 3-over 73 to finish runner-up in the individual standings ata 5-under 205. His total is the second lowest 54-hole SEC Championship score in school history, ranking behind only George Bryan IV’s total of 204 at the 2010 event.
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USC RESULTS: 2. Caleb Sturgeon (-5); T7. Dykes Harbin (+2); T20. Matt NeSmith (+8); T23. Sean Kelly (+9); T63. Will Starke (+19)
TEAM STANDINGS: 1. Alabama (+8); 2. USC (+10); 3. Auburn (+20); 4. Texas A&M (+24); 5. Miss. State (+26); 6. Arkansas (+28); T7. Vanderbilt (+35); T7. Missouri (+35); 9. Georgia (+36); 10. Florida (+40); 11. LSU (+41); 12. Mississippi (+49); 13. Kentucky (+50); 14. Tennessee (+55)
The Gamecocks will now wait for the NCAA Regional pairings to be announced on May 6. Carolina will be selected to compete in one of the following regionals: Baton Rouge, La., Tallahassee, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Fayetteville, Ark., Pullman, Wash., or Tempe, Ariz.
USC women third at SEC
At Birmingham, Ala., the USC women’s team made a charge up the leader board in the final round of the SEC Championship, shooting a 303 (15-over) to finish third. The Gamecocks began the day in sixth. The finish was the best since USC won the event in 2002.
Justine Dreher led the Gamecocks in a tie for third at 10-over 226. Alabama won the team title and the Tide’s Stephanie Meadow was medalist at even-par 216.
SEC Women: Alabama 899, Georgia 913, South Carolina 918, Vanderbilt 919, Kentucky 922, Mississippi State 922, Arkansas 923, LSU 923, Tennessee 929, Auburn 933, Texas A&M 934, Mississippi 941, Florida 952, Missouri 955.
USC: T3, Justine Dreher 74-76-76—226; T8, Sarah Schmelzel 76-76-76—228; T28, Suzi Lee 78-76-79—233; T37, Meredith Swanson 78-81-76—235; 63, Mary Fran Hillow 86-83-75—244 .