Goins Ties Single-Round School Record, Leads Rutgers Invitational
Piscataway, N.J. – USC Upstate standout golfer and Gaffney, S.C., native Adam Goins tied the single-round school record and will enter the final round in the lead after 36 holes at the Rutgers Invitational Friday afternoon. The Spartans are third, just two strokes out of the lead.
Goins is trying to win back-to-back individual championships at Rutgers. He won the title last year in a playoff with teammate Tyler Comer.
Upstate got off to a good start in the first round. Goins led the Spartan cause, firing a school record-tying 66 to lead the Spartans to a first round 289. Goins became the fifth Spartan to shoot 66 in the history of the program, joining all-time great Josh Gallman (on a par-71 course), McKenzie Oref (on a par-72 course), Tyler Comer (on a par-71 course) and Matthew Hopper (on a par-72 course).
"Adam loves this place and it shows," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "He hit great shots, made enough putts and recovered well from his few mistakes. I am excited to watch him play for a win tomorrow."
Behind Goins' stellar outing, Upstate started the second round just a shot out of first place. St. Peter's opened with a 288. Goins owned a three-stroke lead heading into the afternoon round. In addition to Goins' play, the Spartans got strong performances from Brad Sill (Spartanburg, S.C.) with a 72, Ryan Cornfield (Dudley, England) with a 73 and Matthew Hopper (Gaffney, S.C.) with a 77.
Upstate's strong play continued in the second round with the Spartans again shooting 289. Upstate owns a 578 total, just two shots back of St. Peter's and Monmouth at 576. Rutgers is fourth at 585 and is followed by Fairfield (586), Adelphi (591), St. Thomas Aquinas (593), Seton Hall (597), Fairleigh Dickinson (599), Manhattan (611), Rider (616), Lafayette (618), Daemen (620), Wagner (630) and St. Francis (668).
Goins shot a 70 in the second round and stands 6-under with a 136 total. He owns a one-shot lead over Ian Thimble of Monmouth.
While Goins is the storyline for Upstate after the first day, the rest of the team members have put the Spartans in position to claim their third team championship in five appearances in the Rutgers Invitational. Sill finished the day with a 73 in the second round and is tied for eighth with a 145 total. Hopper shot an even-par 71 in the second round and is tied for 19th at 148.
Cornfield shot a 76 in the second round and is tied for 29th with a 150 total, while Brian Horton (Boiling Springs, S.C.) turned in rounds of 81 and 75, shaving six strokes off of his score from the first round to the second. He is tied for 55th at 156.
"Overall, I am pleased with our effort today," said Lawton. "We left a lot of birdie opportunities out there. This course will give you birdie chances. We are in a very good place heading into the final round. Two shots can be easily be made by a putt here and there. We will need to convert if we want to win this tournament. We have always enjoyed this event and you can see it on our player's faces while they are out there. It is fun."