South Carolina wins Kiawah Classic by 22 shots
South Carolina extended its second-round lead at the Wendy’s Kiawah Classic on Tuesday to win the event by 22 shots. It’s the second consecutive victory for the Gamecocks.
South Carolina, ranked No. 30 by Golfweek, posted 5-under 283 at Turtle Point Golf Course in Kiawah Island, S.C., to start the week, and immediately built an eight-shot lead. By Round 2, the Gamecock lead had increased to 19 shots. On Tuesday, South Carolina closed with 7-over 295 for an even-par 864 total.
Sophomore Matthew NeSmith came up big for the Gamecocks, posting 4-under 212 (75-69-68) for 54 holes. Marquette’s Nick Nelson edged NeSmith for medalist honors. Nelson pulled away in Round 2 with a 5-under 67, the low round of the tournament. At 6-under 210 (70-67-73), he won by two.
"We struggled a little today and maybe lost our focus somewhat with the big lead, but overall it was a great team effort," South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. "Matt played some incredible golf the past two days, and his round today carried us. It's a nice way to finish the fall, and I'm really proud of this team for their effort. We have a lot of work to do in the offseason, but I feel like this team could really accomplish some special things this spring if they put their minds to it."
This is the first time since the 2003-04 season that the Gamecocks have won back-to-back events.
Marquette was second, at 22-over 886. Winthrop was one shot back, followed by Missouri in fourth, another shot behind Winthrop.
Information from South Carolina athletics used in this report