Gamecocks Storm Back To Win Irish Creek Collegiate – Isaac MacNaughton T4 Finish

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – A furious push over the final two rounds by the Jacksonville State men’s golf team propelled the Gamecocks to their first win of the season at the Irish Creek Collegiate.
In its final regular-season tournament, Jax State overtook Radford in the final round on Tuesday to win the 15-team field. The Gamecocks were fifth after the first round of the 54-hole event and moved into second, just one shot behind the Highlanders, before the final round.
After an opening round 285 on the par-70, 7,038-yard layout at the Irish Creek Golf Club Monday morning, the Gamecocks fired the best round in the field in each of the final two rounds. A second-round 273 on Monday afternoon pulled them into second and just one shot behind Radford, and then a final-round 279 capped their 839 that beat the Highlanders by a shot.
“We have been working extremely hard with course management and doing the little things,” Brice said. We turned the corner (Monday) and finished it off in rain and cold weather today. I am excited to continue this progression and take it into conference in a couple of weeks.
The win was the first by the Gamecocks since the 2022-23 season opener at the Golfweek Fall Challenge and is the first for Jax State under Brice, who took over midseason last year. He was pleased with how far his team has come in the past few weeks.
“The course management was a lot of new stuff for some of the guys, and getting over that hill was a big learning curve the last two weeks,” Brice said. “It paid off and will keep paying off. This was a total team effort and everyone contributed to this win.”
Four Gamecocks finished in the Top 20 of the 96-player field, working together to hold off the competition for the first win of the year. Senior Isaac MacNaughton claimed a top-five finish with a 1-under 209 that was just one shot off of the lead. 
The native of Truro, Nova Scotia, rallied after a 4-over 74 in Monday’s first round, carding a 4-under 66 in the afternoon round. He used an early hot streak in Tuesday’s final round, birdying four-straight holes in his first six holes and made the turn at 3-under. MacNaughton played Irish Creek’s par-5 holes at 5-under for the tournament.
Junior Santiago Bailleres joined MacNaughton in the Top 10, tying for ninth with an even-par 210 in the event. The Chascomus, Argentina, native was the most consistent player in Brice’s lineup over the event, opening with a 1-over 71 before closing with a second-round 69 and a final-round 70.
Just three shots behind him in a tie for 16th was redshirt sophomore Ricardo Matho, who finished the 54-hole tournament with a 3-over 213. Also an Argentina native, he led the Gamecocks with 11 birdies in the tournament, shooting rounds of 70-74-69.
Senior Erik Jansson also claimed a Top-20 finish, tying for 19th with a 4-over 214. The native of Vasteras, Sweden, sandwiched a second-round 69 between an opening 73 and a final-round 72 on Tuesday.
Junior Ryley Heath shot a 217 to tie for 32nd, using rounds of 71-69-77, while redshirt junior Gabriel Restrepo tied for 50th after a 54-hole score of 221 (77-73-71.
Redshirt sophomore David Melichar competed for the Gamecocks as an individual and finished in a tie for 55thwith a total score of 222 (73-72-77).
The Gamecocks now turn their focus to the Conference USA Championship, which will be held from April 22-25 at the Texarkana Country Club in Texarkana, Ark.