Sept. 17, 2006
Clemson, SC-Freshmen Ben Martin and Kyle Stanley led Clemson to a second-place finish on Sunday at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA. It was the first tournament for both Tigers. Martin, a red-shirt freshman from Greenwood, had a 54-hole score of 208 to finish third overall, while Stanley had a 212 total for the three-day event to finish 11th.
The event was played at The Farm, a par 72 course that is 7010 yards in length in Dalton, GA. Clemson had a 54-hole team score of 847 to finish second by six shots to Alabama. Georgia and Georgia Tech tied for third at 854, while Florida and Georgia State were tied for fifth at 856.
Tennessee was seventh at 859, while East Tennessee State was eighth at 860. NC State was 10th at 866, Wake Forest was 11th at 868 and Duke was 13th at 875 among the ACC schools who competed in the 18-team field that included eight of the top 17 teams in the nation.
Head Coach Larry Penley took two freshmen and three sophomores to the event, the youngest starting five to open a season since Penley has been the head coach. The team responded well with the 17-under par score. It was the third best score versus par in the opening tournament of the season in Clemson history and best since the Tigers were 34-under par as a team in the Topy Cup in Japan to open the 2002-03 season.
The 847 team score was the best ever by a Clemson golf team at the Carpet Classic. The previous best was an 850, set in the fall of 2002 when Clemson won with that score. Clemson has won this tournament four times, and this is the fourth year Clemson has finished in the runnerup spot since 1999.
Martin had scores of 74-64-70 in scoring his 208. That was the second best score versus par in Clemson history by a freshman for a 54-hole event. His third place finish was the best by a Clemson freshman in his first tournament since Charles Warren finished second at the Ping Preview in the fall of 1995. Martin’s 64 in the second round was the second best round in Clemson history for a freshman, one stroke worse than the 63 carded by Brad Clark at the 1985 ACC tournament.
Stanley had scores of 68-74-70 in finishing tied for 11th. The 68 in his first career round was the best on record for a Tiger freshman. The previous best was a 70 by Jonathan Byrd at the Topy Cup in Japan in September of 1996.
Vince Hatfield, Clemson’s number-one player entering the tournament, opened with a career best 66 that included a 31 on the back nine, but he stumbled to a 77 in the final round on Sunday and finished 19th. He was tied for second place entering the final round.
David May, who finished second at this event last year as freshman, had a consistent tournament with rounds of 73-73-72 and his 218 score tied for 41st. Phillip Mollica, also a sophomore, had rounds of 71-73-77 in firing a 221, good enough for 52nd place.
Clemson at Carpet Classic The Farm, Dalton, GA Par 72, 7010 yards
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