KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – Charleston Southern junior Brandon Smith finished tied for tenth place in his first Division I event to lead the Bucs to an eighth-place showing Monday at The Ocean Course Invitational. The championship was shortened to 36 holes due to the approach of Hurricane Florence to the Carolinas.
Host College of Charleston bested SMU in a one-hole playoff at the famous par-three 17th to claim the team title. SMU's Ollie Osborne followed an opening round 70 with a one-under 71 to earn medalist honors in the 81-player field. Ole Miss's Jackson Suber finished a shot back in second place thanks to a tournament-low five-under 67 Monday.
Smith was one of the nation's top junior college players last year at Odessa College, paced CSU in qualifying and continued to show that form at The Ocean Course. He carded a level par 72 Monday to finish at +2 overall, and was as good as anyone in the field outside of a quadruple bogey late in Sunday's first round.
"To get a top-ten finish in his first event at one of the hardest golf courses in America shows the kind of player he is," said CSU head coach Jason Payne. "It was a great way for him to start his career and we're really looking forward to seeing him continue to grow."
Buoyed by Smith and 75's from fellow newcomers Alan Smith (T-47th) and Parker Jones (T-50th), CSU compiled a +11 second round team total to bump ahead of Big South rival High Point for eighth place. Alan Smith had four birdies in his first ten holes Monday and was one-under before dropping four strokes late.
Sophomore Connor Moore (T-32nd) was the Bucs' other top finisher. Moore turned in a solid one-over par front nine before bogeying four holes on the back side. Junior Elliot Gothe (T-36th), CSU's other top returner, played solidly as an individual. He fired a 75 Sunday and contributed a mostly steady round filled with 14 pars Monday.
"Overall, I thought all the guys played well at times," Payne said. "We had some rounds go our way and some rounds where we missed some opportunities. It's a good starting point and we'll keep working to get better throughout the fall."
CSU is next in action Oct. 2-3 at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate, hosted by Western Carolina in Sapphire, N.C.