USC's NeSmith SEC Co-Freshman Golfer Of Year


By Sports Department

COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) -- South Carolina freshman Matt NeSmith has been named the Co-SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year, and senior Dykes Harbin has earned Second-Team All-SEC honors as selected by the league’s 14 coaches, the conference office announced Tuesday.

NeSmith also earned a spot on the SEC All-Freshman Team. He becomes the third Gamecock to receive the SEC Freshman of the Year award, joining former Gamecocks Brent Roof (1997) and Mark Anderson (2005). He shares this year’s award with Arkansas’ Taylor Moore.

“I’m really proud of Matt and Dykes,” South Carolina head coach Bill McDonald said. “They really had great years for us. Caleb (Sturgeon) did as well and probably should have been on one of those teams, but that speaks to the strength of the SEC and how many great players we have in our conference. Matt and Dykes are very deserving of their honors.”

A native of North Augusta, S.C., NeSmith played in all 10 tournaments this season. He ranks second on the team and 21st in the SEC with a scoring average of 73.00, which is tied for the fourth-best stroke average for a freshman in school history. He recorded a team-high eight top-20 finishes, including six top-10 showings. He closed out the regular season in strong fashion with four-straight top-10 finishes and was named SEC Freshman of the Week three times during that stretch. He tied for 20th at the SEC Championship to help lead the Gamecocks to a runner-up finish.

Harbin, a native of Augusta, Ga., is having a stellar run during his final season in Garnet and Black. He leads the team and ranks 16th in the conference with a stroke average of 72.73. He is tied for second on the squad with six top-20 finishes, including a win at the Collegiate Classic in the fall. He finished tied for seventh at the SEC Championship to lead the Gamecocks to a second-place finish.

NeSmith, Harbin and the rest of the Gamecocks will now wait for the NCAA Regional pairings to be announced on May 6. Carolina will be selected to compete in one of the following regionals: Baton Rouge, La., Tallahassee, Fla., Columbus, Ohio, Fayetteville, Ark., Pullman, Wash., or Tempe, Ariz.

Coach of the Year
Jay Seawell, Alabama

Golfer of the Year
Cory Whitsett, Alabama

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Austin Cook, Arkansas
Hunter Kraus, Missouri
Cory Whitsett, Alabama

Freshman of the Year
Taylor Moore, Arkansas
Matt NeSmith, South Carolina

First Team All-SEC
Sebastian Cappelen, Arkansas
(SEC Championship Medalist)
Bobby Wyatt, Alabama
Justin Thomas, Alabama
Cory Whitsett, Alabama
Jace Long, Missouri
Tyler McCumber, Florida
Chad Ramey, Mississippi State
Oliver Goss, Tennessee
T.J. Mitchell, Mitchell
Curtis Thompson, LSU

Second Team All-SEC
Andrew Presley, LSU
Nicholas Reach, Georgia
Dykes Harbin, South Carolina
Axel Boasson, Mississippi State
Trey Millinax, Alabama
Michael Hebert, Auburn
T.J. Vogel, Florida
Andrew Evans, Texas A&M

Freshman All-SEC
Taylor Moore, Arkansas
Matt NeSmith, South Carolina
Oliver Goss, Tennessee
Lee McCoy, Georgia
Jake Mondy, Auburn
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