June 3, 1999
CHASKA, Minn – Jani Saari, Johnathan Byrd, and Lucas Glover all fired a one over par 73 Thursday to lead Clemson to a 297 team score and first place ranking after 36 holes at the NCAA Championships at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, MN.
While most of the teams in the field struggled on Hazeltine’s challenging back nine, the Tigers were just four over as a team. In fact, Clemson players had five birdies over the last five holes to key the team’s run to its first place ranking. This is the first time in history that Clemson has lead the NCAA tournament after a completed round. Thursday marked the ninth time in the 1990’s that Clemson has made the cut and guaranteed Larry Penley’s team another top 15 national finish.
Freshman Michael Hoey shot a 78 while John Engler, Clemson’s number one player, bogeyed the first five holes and shot an 80. Hoey, a native of Ireland, had a team best one under par 35 on the front nine but triple bogeyed the 16th hole and shot 43. Greenville native Glover birdied the 16th and 17th holes and pared the 18th to finish strong. Saari, Clemson’s number five player playing just his eighth career round for the Tigers birdied the 17th hole.
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