Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. – Playing on one of the world's renowned courses, Adam Goins and Brian Horton led the USC Upstate men's golf team on the first day of the spring season-opening Sea Best Seafood Invitational at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass Monday afternoon.
Goins (Gaffney, S.C.) and Horton (Boiling Springs, S.C.) each shot rounds of 79 and 76 to stand tied for 38th after 36 holes of the 54-tournament. They are just one stroke out of a Top 30 finish and three shots back of a Top 20 effort heading into Tuesday's final round.
Upstate opened the tournament with a 318 in the first round and shaved nine strokes off of the score to post a 309 in the second round. The Spartans are 14th with a 627 total. They are 11 strokes back of 10th place and within three strokes of 12th.
"Today was an opportunity to measure how our scoring compares on one of the best courses on the PGA Tour," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "We definitely see that we have a lot of work to do. Most of our players continued to grind throughout the day and I am proud of them for their efforts."
Tennessee, ranked 26th in the nation, owns the team lead after 36 holes. The Volunteers shot rounds of 300 and 279 for a 579 total, six strokes ahead of No. 31 Texas A&M (585). Coastal Carolina, ranked 47th, is third at 596 and is followed by Winthrop (600), Old Dominion (610), ETSU (610), East Carolina (611), Jacksonville State (613), Jacksonville (614), Francis Marion (616), Georgia State (617), Wofford (624), Florida Gulf Coast (626), Upstate (627) and Charleston Southern (629).
Upstate shot a 318 in the first round, counting scores of 78, 79, 79 and 82 with Will Graves (Rock Hill, S.C.) posting the low score of 78. Graves began his day on the par-5 16th. After making par on his first two holes, he double bogeyed the 18th. However, he rallied to play the entire front nine in an impressive 1-over-par fashion before coming home with the 78. Goins and Horton shot 79, while Brad Sill (Spartanburg, S.C.) opened with the 82. Horton made 12 pars in his opening round.
Upstate began the second round on a high note, playing the par-5 16th at 2-under as a team, highlighted by Sill's eagle. Goins led the way with a tremendously steady round. He bogeyed the 18th, then rattled off eight pars on the front nine and finished with a solid 76 to lead the Spartans in the second round. Horton's 76 was equally as solid. He also made par on eight of the nine holes on the front nine and birdied the 16th. Sill's round was a variety of everything. He made eagle and three birdies. Four pars allowed him to shoot 77. Both Graves and Ryan Cornfield (Dudley, England) shot 80 in the second round for the fourth countable score.
Graves enters the final round tied for 53rd with a 158 total, while Sill is tied for 55th at 159. Cornfield is 67th with a 163 total. Tennessee's Rich Lamb leads the tournament with a 9-under 135 total. He owns an eight-stroke lead over his teammate, Jay Vandeventer.