May 21, 1999
BARRINGTON, RI — Columbia, SC native Jonathan Byrd fired a four-under-par 67, his low score in 17 rounds, to lead Clemson to a 282 team round and a second-place ranking after two rounds of the NCAA East Regional at Rhode Island Country Club in Barrington, RI.
The Tigers are second out of the 23 teams at the event. The top 11 teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Hazeltine, MN on June 2-5. The final round will be played Saturday at the par 71, 6734-yard course that boarders the Atlantic Ocean near Providence, RI.
Clemson trails ACC rival and defending regional champion Georgia Tech by 10 strokes. The Yellow Jackets stand at 563 after 36 holes, while Clemson is second at 573. Clemson shot a 282 on Friday as a team, nine shots better than its first round team score. It was the first time Clemson had shot under par as a team since March 27 at the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, GA. South Carolina, second after the first round, shot a 293 on Friday and is tied for third at 578 with Georgia.
Clemson has been successful with balance all year. Three Clemson golfers are between 142-144 after two rounds and ranked in the top 20 of the individual race. Clemson is attempting to make its 18th consecutive trip to the NCAA national tournament. Clemson has finished first or second at the regional five of the last six years.
Byrd, who was first-team All-ACC for a third straight year in 1999, made an eight stroke improvement from his first round to his second. He moved from 54th place to fifth in one day. His 67 was his best score since shooting a 67 in the final round of the San Juan Shootout on February 23. It was the third time this year he had shot a 67 and a team best 10th time he had scored in the 60s.
John Engler fired an even par 71 on Friday and is at 144 after two rounds. He is joined by freshman Michael Hoey, who had his second straight 72. Those two Tigers are tied for 16th heading into the final round. Matt Kuchar of Georgia Tech and D. J. Nelson of South Alabama are tied for the lead at 139.
Lucas Glover, Clemson’s top golfer on Thursday, slumped to a 75 on Friday and is at 146 for the 36 holes. Sophomore Jani Saari, playing in just the second tournament of his career and just his fifth round, fired a one-over par 72. His score counted for the third time in his five rounds and he is at 150 after two rounds.
Clemson after two rounds of NCAA East Regional
Jonathan Byrd 75-67 142 5thJohn Engler 73-71 144 16hMichael Hoey 72-72 144 16hLucas Glover 71-75 146 33rdJani Saari 78-72 150 71st
Team 291-282 573 2nd
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