NeSmith Named SCGA Player of the Year

Announced Thursday

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — University of South Carolina senior men’s golfer and North Augusta native Matt NeSmith has been named the South Carolina Golf Association’s Player of the Year.

NeSmith claimed the SEC Championship in April at Sea Island Club on St. Simon’s Island, Ga., to secure the top spot in the SCGA’s amateur rankings and remained there the rest of the year. He is just the second Gamecock to win an SEC Championship, joining Eric Ecker who accomplished the feat in 1998.

Following the SEC title, NeSmith won a sectional qualifier in June and competed in the U.S. Open where he finished T-107th. In July, he captured the SCGA Players Amateur and earned an exemption into the PGA Tour’s 2016 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, S.C. A week later, he finished in the top 10 of the Southern Amateur Championship in West Point, Miss.

NeSmith wrapped up the summer with a third-straight appearance at the U.S. Amateur Championship in August and finished tied for eighth in stroke play. He then won his opening-round match before falling to eventual champion Bryson DeChambeau in the round of 32.

This fall, NeSmith was named to the Golfweek Preseason All-America First Team. He was a third-team All-America selection for both Golfweek and PING following his 2014-15 season. NeSmith was a first-team All-SEC member last year as well. He had a pair of top-10 finishes this fall and enters the spring as the Gamecocks’ career leader in scoring average with a 71.88 mark.

NeSmith is the second Gamecock to win the SCGA’s Player of the Year award in as many years with Will Murphy taking home the honor last year. Mark Anderson won the title as a Gamecock in 2009, as did Patrick Rada in 2007.

The Gamecocks return to action next semester at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship in Humble, Texas, over Feb. 19-21 at the Golf Club of Houston.

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