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April 25, 2010
East Lansing, Mich. - Josh Gallman burst onto the scene in college golf three years ago in Allendale, Mich., by turning in a spectacular 5-under-par 67 to lead USC Upstate to a second-place finish in the 2007 NCAA Division II National Championships. He and the Spartans returned to Michigan this weekend to end the season at the Fossum Invitational. Gallman ended his collegiate career by shooting his third straight round of 70 to win the individual championship, closing out a storied collegiate career.
Gallman, a senior from Gaffney, S.C., was simply spectacular throughout the tournament. He opened the tournament with rounds of 70 and 70 Saturday as the teams played 36 holes. With a two-stroke lead heading into Sunday's final round, he again went under par and finished with 70 for a 6-under 210 total to win the individual championship by four shots over Michigan State's Jack Newman, one of the nation's top-rated golfers. Gallman led the tournament in par-4 (-3) and par-5 (-6) scoring, while ranking third in pars (37) and fourth in birdies (10).
Upstate shot 298 in the final round and finished third in the tournament with an 885 total. Host Michigan State and Ferris State shared the team championship with an 879 total. Upstate followed at 885, while Cal State Bakersfield was fourth (897), Humber College was fifth (901), Waterloo was sixth (925) and Ohio Wesleyan was seventh (927).
"Overall, this was a great experience," said Upstate head coach Todd Lawton. "Josh and Michael finished their careers on a great course against solid competition. Nate, Matthew and Brian will be better players with the experience gained from the different turf conditions and firm, fast poa-annua greens."
Gallman birdied one hole on the front nine and three on the back nine to shoot 70 on Sunday. He finishes his career as Upstate's all-time leader with seven tournament wins, 21 top five finishes and 33 top 10 finishes. He is also the Spartans' all-time leader in stroke average and winning percentage.
"It was simply amazing and wonderful to see Josh finish his career with a win," said Lawton. "He always recovered from a missed shot, made putts when he needed to and it was obvious that he controlled his emotions while playing head-to-head with one of the best players in college golf for three straight rounds. His birdie on the last hole shows that, even with a three-stroke lead, he plays without fear."
Gallman was not the only Upstate golfer to play his final collegiate tournament Sunday. Michael Lawrence, from Easley, S.C., finished tied for ninth after posting a 76 on Sunday and a tournament total of 221. It marked his 11th career top 10 finish, which ranks third all-time at Upstate.
"Michael fought his way through this weekend with grit and perseverance," said Lawton. "He hit some great shots and his game will be missed at Upstate because he played with so much energy and excitement."
Gallman finished the year with three individual tournament titles and a stroke average a shade over 71. With his graduation, and that of Michael Lawrence, it marks the end of an era for Upstate golf.
"Losing Josh to graduation creates many emotions for me, personally, as coach," said Lawton. "On the one hand, he represents what can be achieved in our program both on and off the course. The bar is set very high for future Spartan golfers because of him. The term "great" will be reserved for such high accolades. On the other hand, his graduation, and that of Michael's, represents the end of an incredible five years in the re-birth of men' golf. It would be an understatement of massive proportion to say the impact felt by Josh and Michael will be difficult to replace. I feel confident that we have talent ready to play next season, but the veteran leadership will be missed. New leaders will have to emerge in the fall for us to be successful."