The South Region kicked off the 2013 college golf club season at Crystal Lake Golf & Country Club in Hampton, Georgia. The first round took place on March 2nd in extremely tough conditions, and carried over to the morning of March 3rd due to darkness. The course was playing 6790 yards with a slope of 140 and a rating of 72.7. The temperature wasin the 30's with a stiff wind and snow flurries.
The field consisted of nine college golf club teams, with South Carolina and East Tennessee State sharing an eight shot lead at 421 (+61) over both Clemson and Georgia Tech who were tied at 429 (+69) after the first day. The rest of the first round leaderboard consisted of Tennessee-Knoxville 437 (+77), Kentucky 444 (+84), The Citadel 461 (+101), Wake Forest 463 (+103), and Emory 490 (+130). Rhoades Sturkie of Georgia Tech fired a first round 77 (+5) to hold a one shot advantage over Charles Neidenbach of Clemson in the individual tournament. Those were the only two scores in the 70s the first round, which can likely be attributed to the difficult conditions.
The second round kicked off at 9:30 am on Sunday March 3rd, with conditions just as brutal as Saturday to start the day. The sun finally came out midway through the second round, which made the conditions much more tolerable. Some shuffling took place on the leaderboard during the second round. South Carolina put the pedal down and finished an impressive 33 shots clear of the field as a team after two days of play at 818 (+98). Clemson was able to make a day two charge, led by Charles Neidenbach who once again fired a score in the 70s. Clemson finished second with a score of 851 (+131), behind South Carolina and one shot ahead of East Tennessee State at 852 (+132), who rounded out the top three teams.
The remainder of the final college golf club leaderboard looked like this: Georgia Tech 855 (+135), Kentucky 881 (+161), Tennessee-Knoxville 884 (+164), Wake Forest 917 (+197), The Citadel 919 (+199), and Emory 966 (+246). In terms of the top eight individually, Sturkie was the medalist with a two-day total of 154 (+10). Neidenbach finished second at 157 (+13), after firing a second round 79 (+7). Third through eighth were Matt Bowers 159 (+15), Matt Renner and Jay Brockhoff tied for fourth at 161 (+17), Sage Van Wyk and David Anderson were tied for sixth at 164 (+20), and Michael Cameron rounded out the top eight with a two-day total of 165 (+21).
In conclusion, the tournament went about as well as it could have. The only issues were pace of play, darkness and weather. The weather is the one variable out of our control. Pace of play and darkness were directly related, but we worked it out by having the remaining players come back at 8 am on Sunday morning to complete their first round.
Once again, a big thanks to the Crystal Lake staff for all of their help. We will consider going back to Crystal Lake in the future. Our next tournament will be held April 6-7 at Brookstone Meadows in Anderson, SC. Nationals will be held at the Kampen Course of Purdue University April 27-28.