Originally created 09/25/00

South Carolina reclaims cup



THOMSON, Ga. -- Regions Cup rookie Todd Fields headed a long list of heroes for South Carolina, an upset winner over Georgia on Sunday in the season-concluding Regions Cup Matches.

Fields, a former pro who regained his amateur status in March, won the maximum six points in the two-day matches at Belle Meade Country Club as South Carolina beat the defending champions 27'-26'.

The 27-year-old Fields was the only player on the 12-man teams to win six points. In Saturday's 4-ball matches, he teamed with Rick Swanson to sweep their match. In the singles, he defeated 16-year-old Crane Garren in a match that went to the 17th hole.

"It was a great match," Fields said. "Give him credit; we were neck and neck."

After being tied 9-9 after the 4-ball team matches, South Carolina won four of the 12 singles matches Sunday and halved three others, winning the singles 18'-18.

Players earned one point for winning the front nine, one point for winning the back and one point for winning the 18-hole match. In the event of a tie, players earned a half-point.

The South Carolina singles winners were Fields, Trey Testino, Charles Hartline and Bobby Gause. Fields, Testino and Hartline swept their matches while Gause won 2'-'. Michael Benham, Wesley Carter and Lance Jones halved their matches, winning 1' points each, for South Carolina.

In one of the key moments of the singles, Jones holed out an 18-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to halve his match with Rob Bissell. With Jones' birdie, he and Bissel halved the front nine, back nine and the 18-hole match.

The winning half-point was recorded by South Carolina captain Lad Wright. Playing in final group, Wright halved the front nine in a 2'-' loss to Greg Ablett.

Wright knew the friendly matches could have gone either way.

"We play with these guys all the time and we know what they can do," Wright said. "This is just an opportunity for us to draw a line in the sand and say we'll play you.

"There's no bragging rights," Wright added. "What's the total number of points available? Fifty-four? If we beat them 54-0, we would brag. But I don't like waking up a sleeping bear and that's what those guys are."

It was the second-closest Regions Cup match in the 12-year history of the series, topped only by a 27-27 tie in 1994. South Carolina, as the defending champion that year, retained the cup. South Carolina leads the series 9-3-1.

South Carolina 27, Georgia 26

Belle Meade Country Club

Thomson, Ga.

Singles

Michael Benham (S.C.) halved with Danny Williams 1'-1'; Charles Hartline (S.C.) def. Jack Blackburn 3-0. Bobby Gause (S.C.) def. Chuck Withers 2'-'. Warren Watkins (Ga.) def. Jerry Maxfield 3-0. Gregg Gadapee (Ga.) def. Rick Swanson 2'-'. Todd Fields (S.C.) def. Crane Garren 3-0. Wesley Carter (S.C.) halved with Neel Boggs 1'-1'. Lance Jones (S.C.) halved with Rob Bissell 1'-1'. Trey Testino (S.C.) def. Paul Atchison 3-0. Richard Maddox (Ga.) def. Jeff Pope 2'-'. Jay Blackburn (Ga.) def. Randy Sapp 2-1. Greg Ablett (Ga.) def. Lad Wright 2'-'.