Hurricanes football coach Al Golden and 1992 Heisman Trophy winner Gino Torretta held off a back-nine charge from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier and Sterling Sharpe to win the 2013 Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge.
Miami’s 11-under round was one better than the Gamecocks duo and solidified the first-place scholarship prize of $125,000. Miami finished the front nine with five straight birdies to make the turn at 8-under, one stroke ahead of two-time defending champion Georgia Tech and two shots clear of South Carolina.
The Hurricanes and Yellow Jackets played stroke-for-stroke on the back nine until Miami pulled ahead with birdies on 16 and 17. The Gamecocks went birdie-eagle-birdie over the final three holes to make a run at Miami, but fell just short when Golden holed a five-foot putt for par on 18.
“South Carolina and Georgia Tech are really good teams. We had a lot of fun down the stretch and Gino hit some big putts to keep us in it,” Golden said. “We scrambled and got lucky down the stretch.”
“Hitting that 30-footer for par on 15 and another big putt on 17 were huge. We didn’t know they were so close on our heels until we finished 17,” Torretta said. “We just tried to stay within ourselves and we kept the ball in play. It just seemed to work today.”
The Chick-fil-A Bowl Challenge is the country’s premier head coach and celebrity charity golf event featuring NCAA head coaches and former athletes and celebrities from the same school competing against their rivals for a share of a $520,000 scholarship purse.
In addition to the $520,000 scholarship purse, another $144,000 was generated for charitable organizations including Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Homes foster care program. Over the last seven years, the event has contributed a total of $3.8 million in scholarship and charity, helping make the Chick-fil-A Bowl college football’s most charitable bowl game.