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Kelley earns medalist honors

Updated: Saturday, July 27 2013, 10:48 PM CDT

MONROE, La. – University of South Alabama men's golfer Blake Kelley topped the field at the 2013 Cotton States Invitational this week after 36 holes of stroke play, going on to advance to the quarterfinals of match play at the event with three victories over the next two days.

The event — which was won by fellow Jaguar Tyler Klava a year ago — concluded Saturday with the completion of both the semifinals and finals.

Eighty competitors began play on Tuesday morning, with the top 64 after two rounds of stroke play continuing on in the tournament.  Kelley — a resident of Mandeville, La., who will be a senior when the fall semester begins next month — fired a 6-under-par 66 at the par-72, 7,234-yard Bayou DeSiard Country Club in his opening round, following up with a 68 to earn medalist honors with a 10-under-par 134 36-hole score.

When match play began on Thursday, Kelley needed 19 holes to defeat Chase Hawthorne of Austin, Texas, in the opening round, and he returned in the afternoon to pick up a 4 and 3 victory over Texas Tech's Nathan Weant.  Kelley began Friday with a 3 and 2 win over Michael Gellerman — the 17th seed who is a member of the team at Oklahoma — in the third round before his tournament came to an end in the quarterfinals after falling to ninth-seeded Sean Romero, who helped New Mexico advance to the match play segment of the NCAA Championships in May.

Ian Davis of Oklahoma State, who was seeded fourth after recording a 141 two-round qualifying score, claimed the tournament championship on Saturday with a win on the first extra hole in the finals.
Kelley earns medalist honors


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