Saban, Musso Third In Golf Challenge

Greensboro, Ga. - The University of South Carolina team represented by Coach Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe carded a 12-under-par 60 and then outlasted Virginia Tech in a playoff to win the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge golf tournament and the $120,000 first-place scholarship donation. This is team South Carolina's second straight championship in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge.

Alabama Coach Nick Saban was joined by legendary Crimson Tide running back Johnny Musso (1969-71) to shoot 10-under-par and finish tied with Georgia Tech for third place in the event. The tournament sponsor, Chick-fil-A, made scholarship donations to the participating schools based on golf success. The tie for third netted The Capstone $37,500 in scholarship money.

"It was a fun day today," Spurrier said. "Sterling made a bunch of crucial putts down the stretch and I pitched in a little. I think this was the first playoff I've ever won, and I've been in a few."

In regulation play, Sterling Sharp holed a dramatic 10-foot putt on 18 to force the playoff with Frank Beamer and Dell Curry from Virginia Tech. After repeating the 18th hole, the teams were still tied and a four-shot closest-to-the-pin competition decided the championship. From 150 yards, Beamer's approach finished 23' from the cup. Sharpe then stroked his approach to 18' for South Carolina to win by five feet.

This third annual event was held at Reynolds Plantation on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga.

"This was just an incredible day on the golf course," said Gary Stokan, Chick-fil-A Bowl president and CEO. "Everywhere you looked there was great golf action. These teams really delivered the level of play we've come to expect in this tournament. To cap everything off with a playoff victory put the perfect finishing touch on a fantastic three-day event."

The format has a college head coach paired with a former player from his school. Georgia Tech was represented by Paul Johnson and Jon Barry.

Other participants and the finishes were:

Fifth, Minnesota, Tubby Smith and Jim Petersen; tied for sixth, Ole Miss, Houston Nutt and Kris Mangum (who started his college career at Bama, following his brother Jon), and Wake Forest, Jim Grobe and Billy Packer; eighth, Kentucky, Rich Brooks and Jared Lorenzen; ninth, Vanderbilt, Bobby Johnson and Will Perdue; and 10th, Maryland, Ralph Friedgen and Neil O'Donnell.

A total scholarship purse of $350,000 was awarded to the teams by the Chick-fil-A Bowl and an additional $150,000 was raised for other charities bringing the total charitable purse to $500,000.

Last year's tournament was won by the University of South Carolina team (-12) and the 2007 event saw the Virginia Tech take home first-place honors.

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