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NeSmith and Gamecocks win at Aiken

The South Carolina Gamecocks continued to play some of their best golf at their home away from home, the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken.

USC won their second straight Cleveland Golf – Palmetto Intercollegiate by leading the 54 hole event from start to finish.

Matt NeSmith won the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate.

Matt NeSmith won the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate.

Senior Matt NeSmith claimed medalist honors by shooting a score of 203 for a one shot victory.

NeSmith is from nearby North Augusta and considers the Palmetto Golf Club almost his home course.

“I had a great week and played some great golf,” said the Gamecock senior. “I’ve been lucky enough to have play this course a lot thru the years. This is my last tournament here and it is really cool to get a win,” said NeSmith.

The defending SEC individual champion topped Maverick Antcliff of Augusta University by one shot.

NeSmith and Antcliff were even for much of the final round. The Augusta golfer bogeyed the 17th hole to drop a shot behind NeSmith. Both golfers birdied the final hole leaving the Gamecock golfer with the victory.

The win at Aiken was the third college victory of his career.

Will Starke finished third at the the Palmetto Golf Club.

Will Starke finished third at the the Palmetto Golf Club.

USC’s Will Starke, last year’s medalist at the tournament, finished in third place two strokes behind his teammate.

Furman senior Preston Cole held the first round lead shooting a 4-under par 66. NeSmith was able to work past the Paladin golfer in the second round. Cole was able to lock up the fourth spot with a final round 1-under par 69.

The Gamecocks finished 18 shots in front of Virginia for the team title. The Gamecocks pulled away from the field in the second round when they shot a 14-under par 266.

“This golf course is a good fit for our team,” said USC head coach Bill McDonald. “Our kids play here a lot growing up, but it is still Palmetto. The first nine holes are as difficult as anything in golf,” he said.

Preston Cole from Furman led the first round and finished fourth.

Preston Cole from Furman led the first round and finished fourth.

The USC total of 821 set a new record for the Palmetto Intercollegiate. The Gamecocks finished four shots better than they did when they set the tournament record with their win in the 2015 event.

Augusta University finished in third place.

Complete scoring is available at http://www.golfstat.com

Tournament video highlights below

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