South Carolina ran away with the title at the 2019 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate on Tuesday, winning by a staggering 35-shot margin. The Gamecocks shot a new school and tournament record 813 (-27) en route to the team’s first win of the 2018-19 season. Senior Will Miles led Carolina, going wire-to-wire for his first collegiate win. He shot 197 (-13) to earn an impressive nine shot victory.
“It was unbelievable – a great team victory,” said head coach Bill McDonald. “Four guys in the top-five which was pretty special for us. Then Will Miles – I can’t say enough great things about him and how well he played. I couldn’t be happier for him with how hard he’s worked and to see it pay off. Not just Will, but our (three) seniors in general. They’ve just been incredible leaders and put in a ton of work – really cool seeing it all come together this week”
Miles carded a final round 68 (-2) with six birdies. He was even at the turn and posted a 2-under 34 coming into the clubhouse today. The Hilton Head Island, S.C., native led the field with 15 birdies over 54 holes. His victory marked the third top-five finish of his career. He set the tournament scoring record, surpassing former Gamecock All-American Will Starke (shot 201 in 2015) and current PGA TOUR player Bud Cauley (shot 201 in 2011 playing for Alabama).
“It feels awesome, it feels really good,” said Miles. “I had some tricky up-and-downs to start yesterday, and it just kind of got me rolling. I was pretty locked in with the short game this week.”
The Gamecocks had three more players finish in the top-five. Seniors Scott Stevens and Ryan Stachler T-2nd with final tallies of 206 (-4) while junior Caleb Proveaux T-5th after shooting 207 (-3). Stachler and Proveaux’s top-fives this week at Palmetto Golf Club marked new career-best for each player.
Stevens took home the hardware for runner-up medalist with the low final round of the three players tied for second. He shot 69 (-1) for his third-straight round in the 60s and finished second in the field behind Miles with 14 red numbers on the week. Stevens, a 2017 All-SEC and PING All-Southeast Region selection, has started every tournament the past four seasons for Carolina. Today marked his sixth career top-five and third runner-up finish.
Junior Jamie Wilson played great golf in the final round, tying Stevens with a team-best 69 (-1). He climbed 25 spots on the leaderboard to finish T-19th, his fourth career-top 20 (second straight).
Wind was a factor today, but Carolina still managed to shoot 276 (-4) in today’s third round, the only program in the 18-team field to shoot under par.
In seven Palmetto Intercollegiate appearances under McDonald since 2012, the Gamecocks have now won three titles (2015, 2016 and 2019). Carolina also won Palmetto Intercollegiate titles in 2004 under Puggy Blackmon and in 1991 under Steve Liebler. Miles became
> Miles’ 197 tied John Bloomfield (shot 197 (65-66-66) at the TaylorMade Red River Classic, 10/11-12/99) for the second lowest 54-hole score in program history. He was just one shot shy of tying three-time All-American Matt NeSmith for the top spot. NeSmith set the record with a 196 en route to medalist honors at the 2015 SEC Championship.
> Miles is just the fourth Gamecock all-time to shoot under 200, joining NeSmith, Bloomfield and current teammate Scott Stevens (shot 198 at Maui Jim Intercollegiate, 9/23-25/16).
> Carolina broke the school record for 54-hole low score with its 813 this week. The Gamecocks previous low 54 of 816 came at the TaylorMade Red River Classic on 10/11-12/99.
> Today marked head coach Bill McDonald‘s 22nd all-time victory as head coach, adding to his program record for tournament wins. With this week’s record setting performance, eleven of the 12 lowest 18-hole scores and 15 of the 16 lowest 54-hole scores have now come under his direction. McDonald’s first victory came at the 2007 NCAA West Regional when he was serving as interim head coach that spring.
> South Carolina led the field with 57 birdies and tied for the field lead with 171 pars this week.
> The Gamecocks led the field in par-3 (3.00, E), par-4 (4.01 +2) and par-5 scoring average (4.30, -21).
> Carolina’s four counting scores combined for 37 red numbers on the back nine the past two days.
FINAL TEAM LEADERBOAD – 2019 CLEVELAND GOLF PALMETTO INTERCOLLEGIATE
1. South Carolina – 813 (-27)
T-2. Virginia – 848 (+8)
T-2. UAB – 848 (+8)
4. Clemson – 855 (+15)
5. Memphis – 859 (+19)
6. Charleston Southern – 862 (+22)
7. USC-Aiken – 863 (+23)
8. Furman – 871 (+31)
9. VCU – 875 (+35)
10. Temple – 877 (+37)
11. Army – 883 (+43)
12. Wofford – 884 (+44)
13. Akron – 887 (+47)
14. William & Mary – 891 (+51)
15. Presbyterian – 892 (+52)
16. Winthrop – 896 (+56)
17. Francis Marion – 898 (+58)
18. Rhode Island – 916 (+76)
FINAL GAMECOCK LEADERBOAD – 2019 CLEVELAND GOLF PLAMETTO INTERCOLLEGIATE
1. Will Miles – 197 (-13)
T-2. Scott Stevens – 206 (-4)
T-2. Ryan Stachler – 206 (-4)
T-5. Caleb Proveaux – 207 (-3)
T-19. Jamie Wilson – 215 (+5)
COURTESY USC SID