NAHS grad named SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year

Matt NeSmith, in his first year as a Gamecock, has another good reason for crowing, having been named as the “Co-SEC Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year.”

The 2012 North Augusta High School graduate “becomes the third Gamecock to receive the SEC Freshman of the Year award, joining former Gamecocks Brent Roof (1997) and Mark Anderson (2005),” according to an announcement from the University of South Carolina. “He shares this year’s award with Arkansas’ Taylor Moore.

The Gamecocks’ announcement noted that NeSmith played in all 10 tournaments this season and ranks second on the team and 21st in the SEC with a scoring average of 73.00 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.”

NeSmith, listed at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds, offered a few thoughts on the past few months and his current status. Business is his current focal point in studies. “I don’t know what part of business, but we’ll see as the years go by,” he said.

The Gamecocks only trailed Alabama in the SEC, so the USC crew’s general state was happy but not satisfied, in NeSmith’s words. “We’re just trying to get in there and get ourselves a chance at region and then on to nationals, hopefully.”

As for the game itself, he said, “There’s nothing better than playing a good round and getting some practices done. I’ve always loved it. It’s always been good to me.”

The Gamecocks’ most common locales for play include Cobblestone Park, Wood Creek Farms, Columbia Country Club, The Woodlands and Wildewood.

“It’s been really fun, the last couple of weeks, being able to play some different golf courses and get out there and enjoy myself.”