Gamecock Men Edged By No. 6 Florida, 3-2, In SEC Match Play

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. (USC SID) — It was a back-and-forth battle all morning as South Carolina came up just short in the SEC Match Play Quarterfinals, falling to No. 6 Florida 3-2 on Sunday. Sophomore Scott Stevens (2&1) and sophomore Ryan Stachler (3&2) each won their matches, while sophomore Will Miles upset bid versus individual stroke play champion Alejandro Testi fell short on the 20th hole of the round in a sudden death playoff.

Stevens shot 1-over on the backside, where Carolina started the day, and was one down for six straight holes before squaring his match after a birdie on the par-3 third. The Chattanooga, Tenn., native, was in command down the stretch and went 2-up after a birdie on hole six. Gordon Neale took advantage of an errant tee shot and pulled back within one with two holes left in the match. Stevens stripped his tee shot down the middle of the fairway on eight and stuck his approach within 3 feet of the pin. Neale conceded the birdie putt to Stevens and he won the match 2&1 on the 17th hole of play.

Ryan Stachler bounced back from a tough third round in stroke play nearly leading wire-to-wire in his win vs. Jorge Garcia. The Alpharetta, Ga., native dropped a shot on the opening hole but squared the match back up on hole 11 with a par. He then took back control and won the next two holes with consecutive pars to take a 2-up lead. Stachler led by two or more the rest of the way. After a great approach from the bunker, he won 3&1 with a par on hole seven.

Miles gave 18th-ranked Tosti all he could handle the entire day in one of the most entertaining matches of the quarterfinals. Tosti went 2-up early with a par on hole 14. Miles then squared the match with consecutive birdies on 16 and 17. He went 1-up early on the back nine with a birdie on the par-4 second hole, but Testi answered with a birdie on the par-3 third to square the match back up. They shot even par down the stretch in the final six holes, heading to a sudden death playoff back on the 10th tee. Each player carded par on the 10th and Testi won the match 1-up with a par on the 12th hole.

Freshman Jamie Wilson fought tooth and nail with No. 22 Sam Horsfield. The Mount Pleasant, S.C., native, who was fresh off a career-best 66 in the third round of stroke play on Saturday, trailed by two with two holes to play after gaining a shot back with a birdie on the par-5 7th. Wilson hit a great shot out of the greenside bunker on the right, but he was unable to hole out for birdie. Horsfield, who is the No. 3 ranked amateur in the world, took the match after sinking a 50-footer for birdie. Junior Keenan Huskey, who was battling an arm injury, was unable to get things going on Sunday in his match versus Andy Zhang. He trailed for most of the day but made things interesting late. He won two holes down the stretch and like Wilson, was two-down with two holes left to play. Huskey was unable to get the birdie he needed on hole eight and Zhang won the match.

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