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Clemson Golf Set For ACC Tournament

Clemson Golf Set For ACC Tournament

April 17, 2001

Clemson will compete in the 48th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Golf Tournament April 20-22 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. This will be the first time the ACC golf tournament has gone to the state of Florida. Each of the last three events and five of the last six have been contested at Uwharrie Point in New London, NC.

Clemson has played in every ACC Tournament and won the event six times outright and tied for the title once (1990). Clemson’s ACC outright Championship years have come in 1982, 1987, 1988, 1997, 1998 and 2000. As you can see by the list, Clemson has won the event three of the last four years.

The nine ACC men’s teams will compete on the par 72 and 7,093-yard Magnolia Course. It is a Joe Lee designed course that opened in 1971. It has been the site of a PGA Tour event every year since 1971. Jack Nicklaus won the first three tournaments contested from 1971-73. Tiger Woods has been a recent champion. From 1974-79 it had a two-man team format. This year’s event, the National Car Rental Golf Classic at Walt Disney World, will be contested from October 17-21.

The Tigers will take a lineup of two seniors, two sophomores, and a freshman to Orlando. The lineup will include seniors Lucas Glover and John Engler, two All-Americans who will be playing in their fourth ACC Tournament apiece. The sophomores include D.J. Trahan, who finished tied for fourth at the event last year, and Ben Duncan, who will be playing in his first ACC Tournament. Trahan did not play in Clemson’s most recent event, the Ford US Collegiate, because he was competing in The Masters. Freshman Gregg Jones obviously will also be in his first ACC Tournament.

Clemson was ranked third in the nation by MasterCard, Golfweek and Golf World through tournaments of April 10. Clemson has been ranked in the top three in the nation all season. The Tigers have won the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate, have had two second-place finishes and five third-place finishes. Clemson has ranked in the top five in all 10 of its events so far this year. That includes the Rolex Match Play.

Clemson features senior All-Americans Lucas Glover and John Engler. Glover took medalist honors at the Puerto Rico Classic and has a 71.07 average for the year, a Clemson single season record pace. He has five top 10 finishes for the season. Engler has not won an event this year, but has a 71.14 stroke average for the year and has six top 10s.

Engler has been outstanding in the the ACC Tournament throughout his career. He has finished in the top five all three years he has played, including a second-place finish last year. He is a combined 13-under-par for his nine rounds at the ACC Tournament and has a stroke average of 70.56.

Ben Duncan played his first event of the spring at the Chris Schenkel and responded with a 15th-place finish and even-par (216) score for the three days. It was his best finish in a college tournament in his two years with the team. Duncan has a 73.50 stroke average for seven tournaments this year. Gregg Jones has a 74.00 average for his six tournaments.

Clemson Lineup For ACC Tournament

Name Cl. Hometown Trns Avg
Lucas Glover Sr. Greenville, SC 10 71.07
John Engler Sr. Augusta, GA 10 71.14
D.J. Trahan So. Inman, SC 8 72.87
Ben Duncan So. Greenville, SC 7 73.50
Gregg Jones Fr. Florence, SC 6 74.00

Clemson’s ACC Tournament History Clemson has won six ACC Tournaments outright and has a co-championship to its credit in its previous 47 ACC Tournament appearances. All seven of the first-place finishes have taken place since 1982 when current Athletic Director Bobby Robinson served as head coach.

Current Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley has won five outright and one co-championship in his career at Clemson, which dates to the 1984 spring. Penley’s Tigers have won three of the last four ACC titles and have finished in the top four every year since 1995 (six straight). The last year Clemson was out of the top four was 1994 when Clemson finished sixth in the nine team field.

This will be just the second time since 1972 that the tournament has not been held in North Carolina. The only other occasion took place in 1997 when Clemson won the tournament at Whitewater Country Club in Fayetteville, GA.

Clemson has had the ACC individual champion five times, including twice by Charles Warren. Warren, who won the NCAA National Championship in 1997, won the ACC title in 1997 and 1998, as a junior and senior. Parker Moore (1976) was Clemson’s first ACC champion. Kevin Johnson (1988) and Danny Ellis (1992) are two current Tigers on the PGA Tour who won the ACC Championship.

Tigers in Top 5 for 58 Straight Polls Clemson is currently ranked third in the latest MasterCard poll. The Tigers have been ranked in the top three in the nation in every poll over the last two years. Clemson was ranked first in the preseason poll for this year, then held the #2 position for five straight polls. Clemson’s streak of consecutive polls ranked in the top three in the nation dates to the final poll of the 1998-99 season when Clemson finished fifth. Over the last two years, Clemson has been ranked first on six occasions, ranked second 14 times and third seven times. Clemson has been ranked in the top five in the nation in every poll since March 8, 1998 when Clemson was sixth. The Tigers have now been ranked in the top five for 58 consecutive polls.

Glover-Engler Era Coming to a Close Two of the main reasons for Clemson’s streak of 58 consecutive top five rankings by the MasterCard Collegiate poll are Lucas Glover and John Engler. The current seniors were freshmen when that streak started and were prime reasons Clemson finished a program-best second in the nation at the 1998 NCAAs in Albuquerque.

The Glover-Engler era spans 50 tournaments over the last four years. In those 50 events Clemson has finished first 12 times, second 13 times and third nine times. That means Clemson has finished in the top three 32 of the 50 events, 64 percent. Clemson has 41 top five finishes in the 50 events and has finished in the top half of the field 49 of the 50 events, including an incredible streak of 48 in a row, longest in Clemson history.

Clemson has been in the top five in 10 straight events this year, the longest streak since a record 16 top five events in succession from October 9, 1988 through October 22, 1990. Chris Patton and Oswald Drawdy were common denominators during that stretch.

Clemson Finishes third at Ford US CollegiatesApril 9, 2001Puerta Vallarta, MX–John Engler shot an even-par 216 score to record his 20th career top 10 individual finish, leading Clemson to a third-place team ranking at the Ford US Collegiate Golf Championship. The event was played at the par 72, 7057-yard Vista Vallarta Golf Club in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

Georgia won the event with an 835 team score, a 29-under-par total. The Bulldogs were 33 shots better than second-place Georgia Tech. Clemson and Arizona State tied for third with 874 scores. The Tigers had a consistent 292-290-292 team score over the three rounds.

Luke Donald of Northwestern won the tournament individually with a 202 score, the lowest 54-hole score in Northwestern history. It was his 10th career tournament victory. Nick Cassini of Georgia was second (204) followed by his Bulldog teammate Erik Compton (207).

Engler had rounds of 71-73-72 in his 10th-place finish. He was tied with Brad McIntosh of Houston and Chez Reavie of Arizona State. It was the sixth top 10 finish this year for the Clemson senior from Augusta, GA. Engler was outstanding on the par 5s, scoring five-under par for the tournament, fourth best among all competitors.

Ben Duncan had a 78 in the final round, but his 222 score for the three days was the second best tournament among Tigers. His 222 score included a one-under-par 71 in the second round. He finished tied for 27th.

Lucas Glover was one stroke back at 223. The Clemson All-American struggled to an 80 in the first round, then settled down with a par 72 and a one-under 71 on the final day. His 71 on the final day was the best score turned in by a Tiger in the last round.

A bright spot on the weekend was the play of Tripp James. The junior from Spartanburg, SC played his first college tournament and turned in a 225 total. His rounds of 76-74-75 counted towards Clemson’s team score each day, something only Engler could also claim among the five Tigers on the trip. James had 39 pars for the three rounds. Only Cody Breyer of Arizona and Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech had more (40). Jani Saari, a third senior in Clemson’s lineup, had rounds of 72-77-74 and finished at 223, tied for 34th.

Clemson at Ford US Collegiate Golf Championship April 6-8 Vista Vallarta Golf Club Puerta Vallarta, MX

John Engler 71-73-72 216 10th
Ben Duncan 73-71-78 222 27th
Lucas Glover 80-72-71 223 34th
Jani Saari 72-77-74 223 34th
Tripp James 76-74-75 225 42nd
Totals 292-290-292 874 3rd

Clemson Defending ACC Tournament Champion April 23, 2000Badin Lake, NC–John Engler all had rounds in the 60s on Sunday, leading second-ranked Clemson to the championship of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament. It was Clemson’s third ACC Tournament championship in the last four years and sixth since 1987, all under Head Coach Larry Penley.

Clemson trailed NC State by four strokes and number-one ranked Georgia Tech by three shots heading into the last round. But the Tigers fired a team tournament best 278 to win the event by five shots. The 856 team score and eight-under-par score were the third lowest by the Tigers in their 47-year ACC Tournament in history. It marked the eighth straight tournament in 1999-00 that Clemson has been under-par as a team, an all-time Clemson record.

Jonathan Byrd was Clemson’s top player on Sunday, the final ACC Tournament for the senior All-American. The native of Columbia shot a five-under-par 67, his lowest ACC tournament score as a Clemson player. Byrd, whose 74 on Saturday did not count towards Clemson’s team score, finished in a tie for fourth at the event, his best finish ever at the ACC Tournament. It marked the fourth straight year he finished in the top 10 at the ACC Tournament.

D.J. Trahan, the only freshman in the Clemson lineup, shot a 68 on Sunday and finished at 213 for the 54 holes, tied for fourth with Byrd and Georgia Tech All-American Matt Kuchar. Trahan improved by exactly three strokes each day of the tournament.

Clemson’s top finisher for the tournament was Augusta, GA native John Engler. The Tiger junior All-American shot a 69 on Sunday and finished at 210, good enough for a tie for second place with Carl Petterson of NC State. Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech won the tournament with a 206 score. Engler has now finished in the top five at the ACC Tournament each of his three years as a Tiger.

Lucas Glover, Clemson’s low stroke average player for the year heading into the event, struggled on Sunday and shot a 77. He finished 26th with a 224 score.

Atlantic Coast Conference Championship

1 Clemson University 290 288 278 856 -8
2 Georgia Tech 287 288 286 861 -3
3 North Carolina State 284 290 288 862 -2
4 Wake Forest 294 290 291 875 +11
5 UNC 295 289 297 881 +17
6 Duke University 296 293 294 883 +19
7 University of Virginia 300 298 293 891 +27
8 University of Maryland 295 302 295 892 +28
9 Florida State 305 303 303 911 +47
1 Bryce Molder Ga. Tech 72 67 67 206 -10

2 Carl Pettersson NC State 70 71 69 210 -6 John EnglerClemson 70 71 69 210 -6 4 Jonathan Byrd Clemson 72 74 67 213 -3Matt Kuchar Ga. Tech 71 73 69 213 -3 D.J. Trahan Clemson 74 71 68213 -3 7 Chris Mundorf NC State 71 72 71 214 -2 8 Max Harris NCarolina 74 69 73 216 E Jay Morgan Wk. Forest 72 69 75 216 E 10Keith Unikel Maryland 71 75 71 217 +1 Cameron Yancey Virginia 75 7072 217 +1 Brad Hyler N Carolina 71 70 76 217 +1

Three Tigers Ranked in Top 25 National Thursday APRIL 13, 2001 PRINCETON, N.J. – Clemson is ranked third as a team and three Tigers are rated among the top 25 players in the nation according to the latest MasterCard collegiate golf rankings. Clemson has been ranked among the top three teams in the nation in every poll this year.

The Tigers are currently third, trailing only Georgia and Georgia Tech. This past weekend at the US Collegiates in Mexico, that was the exact way the three teams finished. Clemson will next be in action April 20-22 at the ACC Tournament in Orlando, FL.

Individually, Lucas Glover is ranked fourth in the nation, trailing only Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech, Erik Compton of Georgia and Nick Cassini of Georgia. Classmate John Engler, who had a top 10 finish in Mexico, is ranked fifth overall. Sophomore D.J. Trahan, who did not play in Mexico due to his participation in The Masters, is ranked 25th. Trahan did not receive any points in the MasterCard college rankings for playing at Augusta.

Men’s Team Rankings – April 11, 2001 1 Georgia 2 Georgia Tech 3 Clemson 4 Texas 5 Florida 6 Augusta State 7 TCU 8 Arizona State 9 Southern California 10 North Carolina State 11 New Mexico 12 Oklahoma 13 South Carolina 14 Oklahoma State 15 East Tennessee State 16 Brigham Young 17 Virginia Tech 18 Charleston 19 Wake Forest 20 Alabama-Birmingham

1 Bryce Molder SR Georgia Tech 448.500
2 Erik Compton SO Georgia, U. of 288.918
3 Nick Cassini SR Georgia, U. of 257.400
4 Lucas Glover SR Clemson University 250.536
5 John Engler SR Clemson University 238.650
6 Luke Donald SR Northwestern 230.153
7 Chris Wisler SR East Tennessee St. 216.365
8 David Sanchez SR North Carolina State 216.150
9 Jamie Elson JR Augusta State U. 187.522
10 David Miller JR Georgia, U. of 174.600
25 D.J. Trahan SO Clemson University 128.025

Trahan Ranked #1 Among Amateurs Clemson sophomore D.J. Trahan is ranked first in the latest Golfweek Amateur rankings. Trahan, who won the United States Public Links Championship last July, leads the rankings with 250 points. He is 15 points ahead of David Eger of Ponte Vedra, FL and Luke Donald, a senior at Northwestern. Trahan has been atop the rankings for four straight weeks. The rankings are based on point totals recorded over the last year.

Trahan did not receive any points for his play in The Masters, April 6-8. He was one of five amateurs competing in the event. He finished tied for 82nd overall with, among others, Tom Watson. He had rounds of 78 and 75 in recording his 153 score. His 75 did include a birdie on the 16th hole. He nearly made an ace with his tee shot on the par 3 hole, then made an uphill five-foot putt.

Golfweek Amateur Rankings (Through tournaments of April 12, 2001)

Rk Name Residence Pts
1. D.J. Trahan Inman, SC 250
2. David Eger Ponte Vedra, FL 235
Luke Donald Beaconsfield, England 235
4. Bryce Molder Conway, AR 200
James Driscoll Chestnut Hill, MA 200
6. Danny Green Jackson, TN 165
7. Jeff Quinney Eugene, OR 145
8. Lucas Glover Greenville, SC 135
Nick Cassini Athens, GA 135
10. Ryan Hybl Colbert, GA 130
11. Chris Wisler Dover, DE 120
12. Andrew Sanders Merritt Island, FL 115
Kyle Thompson Columbia, SC 115
Akio Sadakata Melbourne, FL 115

Clemson Finishes Third at Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational March 25, 2001 Statesboro, GA–Lucas Glover both finished in the top 10 individually to lead Clemson to a third-place finish at the Chris Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, GA. The 54-hole event was played over two days at the par 72 and 6,945-yard course.

Georgia won the event with an 854 score, the second year in a row they have won the Schenkel. Host school Georgia Southern shot a 287 on Sunday, the same as Georgia, and finished second with an 858 score. Clemson was third just one stroke back of Georgia Southern. Augusta State, ranked 10th in the nation in the latest MasterCard poll, finished fourth at 867. Florida, the first round leader, closed out the top five at 870. The field included 15 teams, including 14 that were ranked in the most recent top 25.

Other ACC teams included Duke, which finished 9th with an 881 score, North Carolina State, 10th with an 884 total, and North Carolina, which finished 14th with an 891 score. South Carolina was eighth at 880.

Trahan and Glover both shot final rounds of 72 to pace the Tigers, who fired a 292 over the final round after scoring nine-under par as a team for the opening two rounds played on Saturday. Trahan, who will next compete in the Masters April 5-8, finished with 212 score for the 54 holes, good enough for third place. Nick Cassini of Georgia won the event with a 210 score, while teammate Erik Compton was second at 211.

For Trahan, it was his second top 10 finish of the year and low score for a 54-hole event this year. Glover had a 72 on Sunday to finish with a 214 score, good enough for eighth place. It was his 19th career top 10 finish, his fifth this year.

Those were the only Tigers who were able to play par golf in the cold and windy conditions on Sunday. Freshman Ben Duncan also shot a 74. Duncan finished with a 215 score for the event, good enough for 15th. It was his best finish as a Tiger and his first career tournament in which he had at least two under-par rounds. The native of Greenville had rounds of 71-71 on Saturday.

John Engler had a disappointing 76 on Sunday and finished with a 219 score for the event, 25th best in the field. Sunday’s 76 was just the second time all year that he failed to score 75 or better and just the second time all year that his score did not count towards Clemson’s team score.

Three Current Tigers Ranked in Top Four of Stroke Average List Three of the top four players in Clemson history in terms of career stroke average are on the current Tiger team. Current senior Lucas Glover is second at 72.00. Sophomore D.J. Trahan stands fourth with a 72.65 figure. The only player who breaks up the group is Jonathan Byrd, a senior on the 1999-00 team, who had a 72.48 average.

This is quite an accomplishment considering the level of play over the years in the Clemson program. Four former Clemson Tigers are currently on the PGA tour. That does not include stars from the past like past PGA Tour professionals Clarence Rose and Dillard Pruitt, who were both champions of PGA Tour events.

Clemson Career Stroke Average Leaders (Minimum 50 rounds Played)

Rk Name Years Rds Stks Avg
1. John Engler 1997-01 143 10,282 71.90
2. Lucas Glover 1997-01 137 9,864 72.00
3. Jonathan Byrd 1996-00 155 11,234 72.48
4. D.J. Trahan 1999-01 54 3,923 72.65
5. Chris Patton 1986-90 139 10,106 72.71
6. Kevin Johnson 1985-89 147 10,711 72.86
7. Charles Warren 1994-98 144 10,510 72.99
8. Nicky Goetze 1989-93 159 11,638 73.19
9. Richard Couglan 1993-97 144 10,552 73.28
10. Dillard Pruitt 1980-84 125 9,180 73.47

Engler and Glover Chasing Under-Par Rounds Record Both Lucas Glover have a chance to move up the ladder on the Clemson career list for rounds of golf under par. In fact, Engler could break Jonathan Byrd career record with two under-par rounds at the ACC tournament in Orlando. Glover could also overtake Byrd with three under-par rounds at the ACC Tournament.

Byrd, who played three years with Engler and Glover and finished his Clemson career as one of the school’s all-time greats in 2000, had 61 career rounds under par. Engler has 60 for his career, one more than Glover.

Engler already has the Clemson record for rounds at par or better with 86, 11 more than Byrd accumulated. Glover has 79 rounds at par or better, second in Clemson history to Engler. Both players are also approaching the Clemson mark for rounds in the 60s. Chris Patton (1986-90) and Byrd had 30 apiece. Glover has 27 in the 60s entering the ACC tournament, while Engler has 25.

It is interesting to note that sophomore D.J. Trahan already has 23 rounds under par, tied for 16th in school history.

Clemson Career Leaders Rounds Under Par

Rk Player Years Rnds -Par
1. Jonathan Byrd 1996-00 155 61
2. John Engler 1997-01 143 60
3. Lucas Glover 1997-01 137 59
4. Kevin Johnson 1985-89 147 53
5. Chris Patton 1986-00 139 49
6. Charles Warren 1994-98 144 48
7. Nicky Goetze 1989-93 159 42
8. Richard Coughlan 1993-97 144 34
9. Oswald Drawdy 1986-90 133 33

Clemson Career Leaders In Rounds At Par Or Better

1. John Engler 1997-01 140 86
2. Lucas Glover 1997-01 134 79
3. Jonathan Byrd 1996-00 155 75
4. Chris Patton 1986-90 139 70
5. Kevin Johnson 1985-89 147 69
6. Nicky Goetze 1989-93 159 68
7. Charles Warren 1994-98 144 60
8. Richard Coughlan 1993-97 144 51

Engler and Glover Have similar Stats Lucas Glover are as different as night and day when it comes to their games. That comparison starts with the fact that Engler is left-handed and Glover is right-handed. Engler plays a more conservative game and is patient in his approach. Glover is more aggressive and takes an average of just seven seconds over his shots.

Yet, the results are incredibly similar. They are separated by just .10 strokes per round for their careers. This year, they are separated by just two total strokes (2061 for Glover, 2063 for Engler) for their 29 rounds of golf. Engler has 60 career rounds under par, Glover has 59. The chart below documents their similarities

Category Engler Glover
Career Stroke Average 71.90 72.00
Top 10 Finishes 20 19
Rounds in 60s 25 27
Rounds Under Par 60 59
Rounds at Par or Better 86 79
Career Best Tournament 202 201

Tigers Have 86 Percent Winning Mark Clemson has a record of 105-16-3 against all competition so far this year. These stats count just the nine previous team scored events and not the match-play event in the fall. Clemson’s winning percentage is .858.

The Tigers have faced 39 different teams on its national schedule and Clemson has a losing record against just two teams ranked in the top 25 in the nation. The Tigers are 2-5 against Georgia Tech. Clemson is 3-5 against Georgia so far this year. Georgia and Georgia Tech, ranked as the top two teams in the nation, are also the only two ranked teams with a stroke advantage against Clemson.

As far as other top ranked schools, Clemson is 4-1 vs. South Carolina, 4-0-1 vs. Arizona State, 4-0 vs Arizona, 6-0 vs. Houston, 3-0 vs. Minnesota, 5-0 vs. Northwestern, 4-1 vs. Oklahoma State, 5-0 vs. UNLV and 2-0 vs. Oklahoma.

Clemson had an 85 percent winning percentage last year (156-26-3). The only teams with a winning record against Clemson last year were Texas (1-3) and Georgia Tech (3-6).

Glover Wins Puerto Rico Classic Lucas Glover shot a closing round 67 and went on to a five-stroke victory at the Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 25-27 at Rio Mar Resort and Country Club. Glover had a 54-hole score of 205, 11-under par. It was the third tournament title for Glover at Clemson. He also won at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA in April of 1998 and won the Mauna Kea Invitational in Hawaii in November of 1998. So, he had gone over two years without a college tournament championship.

Glover’s victory was by five shots, the largest margin of victory on record for a Clemson golfer in any tournament. The previous record that has been found in the Clemson archives was four strokes on many occasions, most recently by Charles Warren at the 1997 ACC Tournament. Glover’s victory at Puerto Rico this year came against a strong field. He was seven shots better than Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech and nine shots better than Luke Donald of Northwestern. The 76-player field posted just four players under par and just nine at par or better.

Glover had scores of 68-70-67 in gaining the victory. His 70 in the second round included six birdies and an eagle. His 67 in the final round tied for the best round by any player in the tournament. Wilhelm Schauman of Minnesota had a 67 on the final day and finished second at 210. Glover had a wire-to-wire lead after he shot 68 the opening day. His final round saw him record six birdies between the fourth and 15th holes. He had 18 birdies for the 54 holes.

Clemson lost the team aspect of the tournament by just one stroke. Georgia Tech and Clemson both shot 282 scores on the final day. Tech finished at three-under-par, 861, while the Tigers finished at 862, two-under. Minnesota was third at 865 and Georgia was fourth at 869.

Glover got plenty of support from consistent John Engler, whose 216 figure was tied for fifth. D.J. Trahan shot a 78 in the opening round, but finished strong with rounds of 70 and 71. His 219 score was good enough for 15th. Freshman Gregg Jones shot a 74 on the final day and his 227 score was tied for 45th. Jani Saari finished at 231 and was 59th.

Clemson Finishes Third at Las Vegas Intercollegiate March 11, 2001 Las Vegas, NV–John Engler shot an even-par 72 to finish in the top 10 for the fourth straight tournament, leading Clemson to a third-place finish at the Las Vegas Intercollegiate. It tied for Clemson’s best finish in the event.

Clemson finished with an 869 score for the three-day, 54-hole event after a one-over-par 289 on the final day. Georgia Tech had an incredible 273 team score on Sunday and shot an 844 team score, 24 strokes better than second-place Georgia, who finished at 868, one better than the Tigers. NC State was fourth at 871, while TCU was fifth at 874. Arizona State was sixth at 875, but featured the play of Jeff Quinney, the individual champion who shot a 203. Quinney won by seven shots over Troy Matteson of Georgia Tech.

Engler finished at 214 for the event and his two-under-par score was good enough for eighth place. Trahan, who shot a 77 in the opening round, finished with a 69 on Sunday to shoot 218 for the event. Trahan, who will play in the Master’s in April, won medalist honors last year, but finished 21st this year.

Lucas Glover, Clemson’s best player so far this year in terms of stroke average, shot a 221 for the event and finished 28th. He had won the Puerto Rico Classic two weeks ago, his third career victory. Gregg Jones shot a 74 on Sunday to finish at 226, good enough for 45th.

Trahan Wins Jones Cup Sophomore D.J. Trahan gained a five-shot victory at the inaugural Jones Cup Invitational Feb. 11 at Ocean Forest Golf Club at Sea Island, GA. Trahan had rounds of 67-67-76 in scoring a 210 for the victory. He had a 10-shot lead heading into the final day, but shot 76 in the windy and cold conditions.

The field included some of the top amateurs in the world. Two other Tigers had top 10 finishes. Lucas Glover fired an even par 216 with rounds of 70-71-75, and finished third, while John Engler had rounds of 71-73-76 to finish at 220, good enough for eighth place.

Penley Has won 46 Tournaments You can easily make a case that Larry Penley is the most successful coach in Clemson athletics history. That certainly is the case when it comes to consistency. The Tigers have been to the NCAA national tournament all 17 years he has been at Clemson, something only Oklahoma State and Arizona State can also claim on the national scene. That is a level of consistency that no Clemson coach, not Frank Howard, Danny Ford, Bill Wilhelm or any other Clemson has attained.

Clemson has 14 top 20 finishes, 12 top 15 finishes and seven top 10s in this period of time. That includes an active streak of four straight top 10s, the first Clemson program to do that since the men’s and women’s track teams had a run of four in a row from 1980-84.

Individually, Clemson has had 11 top 10 NCAA Tournament finishes in Penley’s career. That includes the NCAA Championship by Charles Warren in 1997, and his number-two finish in 1998. Joey Maxon also finished in the top 10 that year, while Lucas Glover finished eighth in 1999.

On a regional basis, Clemson has been outstanding in the top golf conference in the nation. Clemson has won the ACC Championship three of the last four years, and has had four NCAA East Regional titles in, more than any other school. In fact, only Arizona (with five), has more regional titles than Clemson since the regional format of the NCAA Tournament came into play in 1989.

Penley has been honored for his success in the ACC, winning the ACC Coach of the Year honors three of the last five years and six years overall. He was the first coach in ACC history to win this award three consecutive years (1996-97-98). He has six ACC championships to his credit, second on the all-time list of ACC mentors.

Penley, along with Mike Holder of Oklahoma State, are the only coaches in the nation to take a program to the NCAA national tournament each of the last 17 years. Overall, Penley has won 46 tournament titles entering the spring of 2001. His Clemson program has ranked in the top 10 in the nation in every poll each of the last five years, in the top five in every poll each of the last four years.

The last four seasons have seen Clemson enhance its status of one of the top college programs in the nation. Clemson has finished third, second, eighth and seventh in the last four years, respectively. Individually, Clemson has seen Charles Warren win the NCAA National Championship in a thrilling playoff over Brad Elder of Texas in 1997 and D.J.Trahan win the US Public Links title in the summer of 2000. Penley also coached 1989 United States Amateur Champion Chris Patton and 1987 United States Public Links Champion Kevin Johnson.

Four Former Tigers Qualify for PGA Tour Four former Clemson golfers, including three former Tiger All-Americans who played for current Head Coach Larry Penley, have earned their PGA Tour Card for the 2001 season. The four Tigers all finished in the top 27 of the Qualifying school event, which was played over six days at the Jack Nicklaus PGA West Course in LaQuinta, CA. The top 35 finishers in the event qualified for the 2001 PGA Tour.

The four former Tigers who made the cut and will compete on the PGA Tour this coming year are Kevin Johnson, Richard Coughlan, Danny Ellis and Jeff Julian. The first three were All-Americans at Clemson, while Julian tried out for the Clemson team in the early 1980s, he never played in a regular season event at Clemson.

Johnson has been a professional since 1990, but this will be the first year he has qualified for the PGA Tour. He finished fifth in the qualifying school tournament, firing rounds of 70-67-65-64-70-69 for a 405 total. Johnson’s six-round tournament featured 34 birdies and three eagles. Johnson played for the Tigers from 1985-89 and was ACC Champion in 1988.

Coughlan finished eighth with a 409 total for the six days, 23-under-par. He posted rounds of 66-69-65-69-68-72. This will be Coughlan’s second year on the PGA Tour. He made it through qualifying school in 1998, the year after he graduated from Clemson and finished 151st on the money list. Coughlan was an All-American in 1996 and 1997 and was named ACC Co-Player of the Year as a senior.

Danny Ellis, an All-American for the Tigers in 1993, finished 27th at the PGA Tour Q School with a 416 total, 16-under-par. Ellis had rounds of 69-67-71-71-71-67. He needed that five under-par final round to make the top 35 cut with one stroke to spare. This will be his first year on tour.

Julian also finished 27th with a 416 total. The native of Vermont had rounds of 67-70-68-72-68-71. This will be his second year on the PGA Tour. He also qualified in 1996 after a top 30 finish at the Q school of 1995. His highest PGA Tour finish is 16th at the 1996 Buick Classic. He has played in two US Opens, 1990 and 1995.

Jonathan Byrd, a three-time All-American who was a member of the 2000 Clemson team, advanced to the final stage of qualifying school, but did not get his card. He will be playing on the buy.com tour this year. Joining him will be former Tigers Charles Warren and Tommy Biershenk. Biershenk was 29th on the buy.com tour in 2000, while Warren finished 41st.

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