Oct. 26, 2008
Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate men's golf team heads to Kitty Hawk, N.C., to play in the 15-team ODU/Seascape Collegiate golf tournament Monday and Tuesday, looking to finish strong in the next to last tournament of the fall season.
Upstate returns to tournament play for the first time in three weeks after finishing second at the Stono Cup in Charleston the first week of October. The Spartans finished tied for the tournament lead in regulation at the Stono Cup, but lost in a playoff and finished runner up. Upstate is also looking to fare better this year than it did last year at the ODU/Seascape Collegiate. The Spartans claimed a tie for 14th-place in the 21-team event in 2007.
The ODU/Seascape Collegiate is a 36-hole tournament played at the Seascape Resort Golf Course. It is a 6,131-yard, par-70 course on the coast of North Carolina. Last year, Upstate turned in rounds of 298 and 296 to finish with a 594 to tie James Madison for 14th. Hartford won the tournament with a 569 total. Josh Gallman led the Spartans in the tournament, finishing tied for 33rd at 7-over-par.
Upstate is one of 15 teams in the field for this year's tournament. In addition to host Old Dominion, Upstate will battle Binghamton, Drexel, Elon, George Mason, George Washington, James Madison, Liberty, Radford, St. Bonaventure, St. Joseph's, Temple and Towson, as well as A-Sun foe, Campbell.
Upstate tees off in a twosome with St. Joseph's at 9:10 a.m. Monday. Head Coach Todd Lawton will send Gallman, Baxter Culler, Michael Lawrence, Tyler Tucker and Jamie Lightsey onto the links Monday morning. Tucker is the only player who did not play in the tournament last year, but is a solid wind player.
"Playing in the wind and on this course, it's all about playing smart and hitting controlled shots," said Lawton. "We didn't play well here last year, but we definitely have the ability to do well. We didn't play the course the way should have. We took out driver when we could have taken long irons and put the ball in the fairway instead of putting it in the muck. Bottom line is that each player needs to play smarter. One of the reasons we want to play this tournament is that the course challenges us in a much different way than other courses we play and I want us to be able to play in any conditions."
Gallman has once again led Upstate this season. He has played in three of Upstate's four events and owns the lowest scoring average on the team at 71.7. He has two top five and three top 10 finishes on the year, including a fourth-place finish at the Rutgers Invitational and a fifth-place showing at the Stono Cup. Baxter Culler has also been solid for the Spartans this season in his senior year. He finished second at the Rutgers Invitational and has three top 20 individual efforts on the year.
The women's golf team was also supposed to participate in the women's portion of the ODU/Seascape Collegiate, but the tournament was cancelled earlier this fall.