Alpharetta, GA—Turk Pettit, Bryson Nimmer and Jacob Bridgeman all had top seven finishes to lead Clemson to a second-place team finish at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational in Alpharetta, Georgia on Sunday. The 15th ranked Tigers finished with a team score of 843, just one shot behind champion Southern California.
While the Tigers finished second, Larry Penley’s team did defeat five of the top 11 teams in the nation in the latest Golfstat rankings, including second ranked Duke, #3 Georgia Tech, #5 Alabama, #9 Texas A&M and #11 Wake Forest. The second-place finish was the best for the Clemson program at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate since the 2008-09 academic year when the Tigers won the championship, and the 843 score was also best since 2008-09 when the Tigers had an 826 score.
“We certainly wanted a championship, but I am very proud of this team,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “This is a tough golf course and a great national field. We lost by one shot to a top 10 team, beat five top 11 teams, and played as hard as we could. I am just so proud the way the team hung in there against this field and this course.”
Clemson had a one-shot lead entering Sunday’s final round. With the normal ups and downs of a college golf tournament, Clemson moved from first to fourth and everywhere in between during the day. At one point Clemson was at 16-under par and in fourth place. But the Tigers played the 18th hole at four under par as a team and close the gap to one.
Turk Pettit made a 20-foot birdie putt on the final hole to close the gap to within one shot, but all Justin Suh had to do was two putt from five feet to clinch the win for the Trojans, who entered the tournament ranked 10th in the nation. He missed the five footer, but tapped in for the team title for Southern California.
Suh, the number-one ranked amateur in the world, carried Southern Cal for most of the day and shot a four-under-par 68 to win medalist honors with a 14-under-par score of 202, four shots better than Clemson’s Pettit and Georgia Tech’s Luke Schniederjans.
Pettit finished the tournament with rounds of 68-68-70 for his 10-under-par 206 score. At one point Pettit went 42 consecutive holes without a bogey and he finished the tournament with 13 birdies, tied for the most among Clemson golfers. He was paired with Suh in the final round.
Nimmer finished in a tie for seventh with a 211 score after shooting an even par 72 on Sunday, his fourth straight top 10 this fall. It was just his third round that was not under par this year and he is now 35-under-par for his 12 tournament rounds this year. He finished strong with birdies on the 17th and 18th holes on Sunday.
Bridgeman recorded his first top 10 finish as a Tiger and it was quite an accomplishment considering the nation field included 25 of the top 100 players in the nation. Bridgeman had a 73 on Sunday, but finished strong with a 34 on the back nine after he had five bogeys on the front in the morning. Bridgeman finished with a 211 score, tied for seventh in the field of 75 golfers.
Zack Gordon was a counter for Clemson on Sunday with an even-par 72. The freshman was two-under-par through 15 holes, then went double bogey and bogey. But he finished with a birdie on the final hole, one of four Tigers to do that on Sunday.
William Nottingham shot a 73 on Sunday as well and finished with scores of 70-78-73 for the three rounds.
Clemson has one more fall tournament remaining. The Tigers will play in the Ka’Anapali Classic in Ka’Anapali, Hawaii November 2-4.
Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational
Golf Club of Georgia Lakeside Course
October 19-21, 2018
Par 72 | 7017 Yards