Cornfield Leads Spartans at the Invitational at the Ocean Course
Kiawah Island, S.C. – The USC Upstate men's golf team rallied to shoot a 314 in the second round of the Invitational at the Ocean Course Monday afternoon, led by freshman Ryan Cornfield, and shaved 11 strokes off of its score in Sunday's opening round.
Upstate stands 15th in the tournament that boasts eight teams in the Top 100 in the nation in the latest Golfstat rankings. The tournament will conclude with the final round on Tuesday. The ocean Course was the site of the 2012 PGA Championship which was played a few weeks ago. It was also the site of the 1992 Ryder Cup and 2007 Senior PGA Championship.
While no Upstate player broke 80 in the first round Sunday, five Spartans broke 80 on Monday. Starting the round on the back nine, it looked like it would be a long day. However, the Spartans rallied on the back to post five scores in the 70's. The tournament format has each team playing six players and counting four.
Cornfield (Dudley, England) fired the top round of the day for Upstate in his first collegiate tournament. He shot a 77, going out in 39 and coming in with a 38.
"I am extremely proud of Ryan's round today," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "He was poised throughout the day, hit the ball well off of the tee and hit greens. When he did make mistakes, he made bogey and nothing worse. I am really excited about his effort."
Four Upstate players - Brad Sill (Spartanburg, S.C.), Brian Horton (Boiling Springs, S.C.), Adam Goins (Gaffney, S.C.) and Will Graves (Rock Hill, S.C.) - finished the day with each shooting 79. Sill had quite the day. He finished with five birdies, but also had seven holes with bogey or worse. He is the low Spartan in the tournament, starting the final round on Tuesday in a tie for 56th.
Cornfield is tied for 59th, one stroke back of Sill, with a 160 total and is tied with Goins. Goins had three birdies on the day. Horton also had three birdies in his round. Graves played his final nine holes at even-par. Matthew Hopper (Gaffney, S.C.) shot an 85.
"We had five players improve today, which was a positive," said Lawton. "We need improvement to head in the right decision and we got that today. The guys see that we can play this golf course and put a score out there around the tournament average. This is a great opportunity to learn a lesson about strategy, not just at this golf course, but everywhere we play. We didn't cut down on a lot of our mistakes, but we did convert on some of our birdie chances which allowed us to lower our score."
Florida, the defending champion of the tournament and the 18th-ranked team in the country, will enter the final round with the tournament lead. The Gators shot a 288 and are 1-over for the tournament with a 577 total. Houston is second at 597 and is followed by College of Charleston (600), Texas-Arlington (602), South Florida (604), UAB (605), Davidson (607), Akron (309), Stephen F. Austin (310), Texas State (615), Georgia Southern (615), Mercer (619), St. John's (620), USC Aiken (624) and Upstate (639).
Georgia Southern's Scott Wolfes shot a 5-under 67 to take the individual lead in the tournament. He is 4-under of the tournament and will take a two-shot lead into the final round on Tuesday.