Friday, April 19, 2013
PINE MOUNTAIN, Ga. – University of South Carolina Aiken senior golfer Matt Atkins was tabbed as the Peach Belt Conference Men’s Golf Player of the Year, while 23rd-year head coach Michael Carlisle was tabbed as the Coach of the Year in the league at a banquet on the eve of the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men’s Golf Championship.
Atkins was joined on the All-Peach Belt Conference First-Team by senior JP Solis.
Atkins is the seventh Pacer to be named Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year. He is the first since current PGA TOUR member Scott Brown last claimed the award in 2006.
Atkins earns First-Team All-Conference laurels for the second straight year.
The 2012 First-Team All-American is currently leading the Peach Belt Conference with a 73.00 scoring average in 27 rounds played.
The 2012 Academic All-American has finished in the top-10 individually in five of USC Aiken’s 10 events this season. He has obtained three top-5 finishes.
Atkins claimed individual medalist honors at the 16th Annual Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate at the 6,617-yard, par-70 Palmetto Golf Club.
Atkins finished with a three-round 4-under score of 206 (68-68-70) in acquiring individual medalist honors. The 206 allowed him to finish two strokes ahead of Virginia's Mac McLaughlin (71-64-73=208). Augusta State's Maverick Antcliff (70-73-66) and South Carolina's Matthew NeSmith (68-69-72) tied for third at 209.
The individual victory was the second of Atkins' prolific Pacer career. He also claimed top honors at the 2012 NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional at the par-72, 7,064-yard Jones Course at the Rock Barn Golf and Spa. Atkins (Owensboro, Ky./Henderson State) concluded the three rounds of the South/Southeast Regional with a 6-under score of 210.
Atkins has been named Peach Belt Conference Golfer of the Week twice in the 2012-13 season (Oct. 11 and March 14).
The low round of the season for Atkins came in the second round of the Bobcat Invitational. He posted a 4-under 66.
Solis is currently second among all Pacers in the 2012-13 season with a 74.70 scoring average.
Solis has finished in the top-10 individually twice in the current year. His best finish came in the Bearcat Golf Classic.
Solis (Morelia, Mexico/Lico Morelia) finished tied for third at 218 (76-75-67). The third place finish was buoyed by his season-low 5-under 67 in round three of the Bearcat Golf Classic.
The third place finish for Solis allowed him to capture Peach Belt Conference Golfer of the Week accolades on March 28.
Solis has now obtained All-Peach Belt Conference accolades three times in his career. He was also named All-Conference in 2009 and 2012.
Carlisle has now been chosen as the Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year honor seven times (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2013) in his Hall of Fame career.
Carlisle’s Coach of the Year honor adds to his tremendous USC Aiken coaching legacy that features three national championships and eight Peach Belt Conference championships.
USC Aiken will next compete in the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men's Golf Championship at Callaway Gardens on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.
The championship at the Mountain View Course at Callaway Gardens will begin with 36 holes on Saturday, April 20. The event will conclude with 18 holes on Sunday, April 21.
The nationally third-ranked Pacers commence the Peach Belt Conference Men's Golf Championship coming off a strong 2012-13 regular-season that saw the Pacers claim top team honors at the Kiawah Island Invitational in the fall of 2012.
USC Aiken finished second as a team three times during the spring of 2013. In total, the Pacers finished in the top-5 as a team in five of their 10 events thus far in the 2012-13 season.
The Pacers will be looking for their ninth Peach Belt Conference championship this year. USC Aiken narrowly missed on obtaining title No. 9 last year as they fell to UNC Pembroke in a playoff. Both USC Aiken (295-287-290) and UNC Pembroke (288-291-293) concluded the three rounds of stroke play at the 2013 Peach Belt Conference Men's Golf Championship with identical team scores of 872.
All of the Pacer golf action in the Peach Belt Conference Men's Golf Championship will be able to be followed live through Golfstat on USC Aiken's official athletic website at www.PacerSports.com.
2013 Peach Belt Conference
Men’s Golf All-Conference Team
Matt Atkins, USC Aiken
Nate Gahman, Georgia Southwestern
Jesse Gibson, Columbus State
J.P. Griffin, Georgia Southwestern
Jordan McColl, Lander
Taylor Smith, Georgia College
JP Solis, USC Aiken
Shad Tuten, Armstrong
Patrick Garrett, Georgia College
Conner Godsey, Montevallo
Bryan Lichimo, Columbus State
Robert Mize, Columbus State
Michael Mullmann, UNC Pembroke
Rob Prior, Lander
Spencer Schindler, Flagler
Gus Wagoner, Armstrong
Co-Freshmen of the Year
Spencer Schindler, Flagler
Dalton Skinner, Montevallo
Player of the Year
Matt Atkins, USC Aiken
Coach of the Year
Michael Carlisle, USC Aiken