April 18, 2009
New London, NC–David May fired a three-under par 69 on Saturday to lead Clemson to a four under par team score of 284 and a second place standing after two rounds at the ACC men’s golf Tournament at The Old North State Club in New London, NC. Clemson has a two day score of 570, five shots behind Georgia Tech, who has an 11-under-par score of 565.
Clemson trailed by 13 shots entering the final round of its previous tournament, the United States Collegiate, earlier this month. But, Clemson came back to win that event in the greatest comeback in school history, defeating Stanford by two shots. Now they will attempt to do something only one other team in Clemson history has accomplished, win consecutive tournaments after trailing entering the final round.
The only other time it has happened came in the spring of 1993 when Clemson won the Furman Invitational after trailing by four entering the final round, and the Carpet Classic a week later after trailing by two (behind Georgia Tech) entering the final round.
Clemson has come from behind to win the ACC Tournament on the final day four times in its previous nine ACC Championships, including 2003 when Clemson trailed Wake Forest by five shots entering the final round before winning by one shot on a birdie by Jack Ferguson on the final hole.
Wake Forest and NC State stand in third place at 572 after two rounds, while Duke is in fifth place at 574.
May had a three under par 69, but it could have been better as he stood on the 16th tee at five under par. He bogeyed two of the last three holes, but still turned in the round of the day among Clemson golfers. The senior from Auburn, NY got off to a fast start with birdies on holes one, two and four and he added birdies on 13 and 15. He made a 40-foot birdie putt with a two foot break on the 15th hole.
“This course has always set up well for my game,” said May, who is 11 under par for 11 career rounds at The Old North State Club. “I feel confident over the ball and I see the course well. The 40-foot birdie was highlight today. It has been a while since I made one from that distance.”
May is in fifth place in the individual race after two days and is the only Tiger to shoot under par in each of the first two rounds. Saturday’s round was his third in the 60s in his career at the ACC Tournament. He finished ninth at the ACC Tournament as a freshman and he hopes to improve on that finish on Sunday in his final round at the course.
Phillip Mollica was Clemson’s second best player on Saturday with a one under par 71. That was quite an accomplishment considering the senior from Anderson, SC had a triple bogey on the second hole. But, he did not let that bother him as he had three birdies within his first five holes. He finished with a birdie on the 18th hole as well. That was his second career round under par at the Old North State Club. Mollica is in 13th place in the individual race.
Ben Martin and Luke Hopkins both played the difficult final three holes along Badin Lake in one under par to finish with even par scores of 72 for the day. Martin, Clemson’s second best player in terms of stroke average this year, got off to a rough start with two bogeys within the first five holes. But he battled back and played the last nine at two under par. He birdied the 18th hole after getting up and down from a greenside bunker with a five foot putt. Martin stands in 20th place at 145 after two rounds.
Hopkins, Clemson’s number five player, had a birdie on the difficult 16th hole and pared the last two holes to finish even after an opening round 76, so he made the biggest improvement among Clemson golfers on Saturday. He is in 38th place at 148 entering the final round.
Kyle Stanley, Clemson’s number-one player over the course of the season, had a one over par 73 on Saturday and his score did not count towards Clemson’s team score. A double bogey on the 15th hole ruined his round, but he finished with a birdie on the last hole that hopefully will give him a boost entering the final round. He still ranks in the top 10 in the individual race entering the final round, as he is eighth with a 142 score.
Clemson will play with Georgia Tech and Wake Forest on Sunday. Clemson’s first tee time is at 11:10 AM. The scores can be followed on golfstat.com.
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