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Men’s Golf Travels to NCAA Tournament

May 18, 1998

Clemson will travel to the NCAA National Tournament May 27-30 at the University Course at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. There will be 30 teams plus six individuals for 156 total golfers. The field will be cut to the top 15 teams plus ties following the second round. Unlike all previous tournaments this year, the NCAA National Tournament is a 72 hole event. The tournament runs from a Wednesday to a Saturday.

Quick Facts on NCAA National TournamentDates:      May 27-30Location:   Albuquerque, NMCourse:     University Course Par:        72  (7,248  yards)Host:       University of New Mexico

Clemson in the NCAA National Tournament

This will be Clemson’s 17th consecutive appearance in the NCAA National Tournament and its 18th in the last 19 years. All of Clemson’s NCAA national appearances have come since 1980 when Clarence Rose, now on the PGA Tour, was an All-American for the Tigers.

Clemson’s streak of 17 years in a row in the national tournament is equalled only by Oklahoma State. The Tigers have finished in the top 15 of the NCAA National Tournament in seven of the eight years in the decade of the 1990s. That includes last year when the Tigers finished third, tying Clemson’s best team finish in history. The only year in the 1990s that Clemson failed to make the cut was in 1995 at Ohio State.

Only Arizona State and Oklahoma State have made the cut in every year of the decade of the 1990s. Clemson and Florida are the only schools to do it in seven of the eight years in the 1990s. UNLV and Texas have done it six of the eight years in the 1990s.

Clemson has finished in the top 20 of this event 10 of the last 11 years including three top 10 finishes in the last five years. Clemson was fourth in 1993 and ninth in 1994. Overall, Clemson has had 14 top 20 finishes in its history.

Charles Warren Defending Champion

Charles Warren is the defending NCAA Champion. Phil Michelson of Arizona State (1989-90) is the last player to successfully defend his national championship. Michelson also won the tournament in 1992. Scott Simpson of Southern Cal (1976 % 1977) is the only other person in the last 25 years to win the event two years in a row.

Warren’s title was captured in exciting fashion last year at Conway Farms outside of Chicago. Warren was down by six strokes entering the final round. He shot a 67 on the final day and forced a playoff with Brad Elder of Texas. Warren made a par five on the 18th hole, the playoff hole, to win the event. When he made the putt on the playoff hole it was the only time in the entire tournament that his name was atop the leader board.

Warren has had an outstanding year and is certainly a candidate to defend his title. He is Clemson’s top golfer in terms of stroke average with a 71.66 figure, which is on pace to be the lowest single season stroke average in Clemson history. Warren needs to shoot 294 or less to break Chris Patton’s single season record.

Warren won his second straight ACC Championship April 17-19 when he shot a career best 205 score. He had three straight rounds in the 60s, the first golfer in Clemson history to do that in a 54-hole team event. The native of Columbia, SC has also established a single season Clemson record for rounds under par (19). He enters the NCAA National Tournament with nine straight rounds at par or better, a Clemson record for consecutive rounds at par or better.

Clemson's NCAA  Tournament History    Year    Site              Score   Vs par  Finish      1980    Columbus, OH      1213    +61     12th        1982    Pinehurst, NC      882    +18     16th    1983    Fresno, CA        1176    +24      5th    1984    Houston, TX        881    +17     19th    1985    Haines City, FL    933    +69     27th    1986    Advance, NC        898    +34     21st    1987    Columbus, OH      1197    +45     11th    1988    Westlake Village   903    +51     17th    1989    Edmond, OK        1160    +40      3rd    1990    Tarpon Springs, FL1174    +22     12th    1991    Pebble Beach, CA  1196    +44     13th    1992    Albuquerque, NM   1166    +14     12th    1993    Lexington, KY     1153    +1       4th    1994    McKinney, TX      1151    -1       9th    1995    Columbus, OH       594    +18     21st    1996    Chattanooga, TN   1227    +75     14th    1997    Lake Forest, IL   1153    +17      3rd

Clemson’s top 10 Individual Finishes Year Player Score Vs Par Fin 1987 Kevin Johnson 291 +3 9th 1990 Danny Ellis 288 E 8th 1993 Thump Delk 287 -1 3rd Mark Swygert 288 E 7th 1994 Mark Swygert 277 -11 3rd 1996 Joey Maxon 295 +7 9th 1997 Charles Warren 279 -5 1st Richard Coughlan 284 E 6th

NCAAs at Albuquerque

This will be the fourth time that the NCAA tournament has been held at the University of New Mexico. Clemson played in the event held in 1992 at New Mexico and finished 12th out of 30 teams. Arizona won the team event and Phil Michelson won the individual title. The other years the tournament has been held at New Mexico were 1950 and 1976. The course is 7248 yards, the longest course for the NCAA event in 20 years.

Clemson Second at NCAA East Regional

Clemson enters the NCAA National Tournament off a second-place finish at the Eastern Regional at Daufuskie Island, SC. The Tigers had a team score of 844, 20-under par. That was the third lowest team score for a 54-hole event in Clemson history and the third lowest score versus par in Clemson history.

Joey Maxon led the way for Clemson with a 209 score, seven under-par. It was the senior’s best tournament score and best score versus par in his 43-tournament career. Maxon finished fifth overall, tied for his best finish of the year.

Charles Warren had a 211 score and finished tied for 11th. For the second straight tournament, Warren had three consecutive rounds under par and it was the third straight tournament that he was under par for the event.

A pair of freshmen were also under par for Clemson, Lucas Glover and John Engler. Both had 213 tournaments, three-under par and tied for 16th. Glover had three rounds at par or better, while Engler had a 69 in the first round and a 70 in the final round.

Clemson continued its streak of playing well at the regional level. Clemson has now played in 10 NCAA East Regionals and qualified for the national tournament every time. Clemson won the event in 1993-94-95 and has finished second each of the last two years. Clemson has finished in the top four at the regional eight of the 10 years it has been played.

Individual Rankings

Clemson is the only school in the nation to have five players ranked among the top 50 players in the nation according to the latest Mastercard rankings. That has been the case for the last four weeks. In fact, no other team even has four players in the top 50. This is the first time all five Clemson players have been ranked in the top 50 in the country at the same time. Clemson is also believed to be the only school in the nation to have all five starters with under a 72.8 stroke average for the academic year.

Three Tigers are also ranked in the top 50 in the nation in the Golfstat Cup statistical rankings. These rankings take into account adjusted stroke averages. Charles Warren is 8th with a 71.75 adjusted stroke average, while Jonathan Byrd is 31st at 72.45.

John Engler is 44th at 72.71

Mastercard Individual Rankings (May 8, 1998)Jonathan Byrd    16th, 188.932Charles Warren,  17th, 178.542Joey Maxon,      36th, 122.384John Engler,     40th, 113.200Lucas Glover,    45th, 107.332

Rankings

Clemson was ranked second in the latest Mastercard Collegiate Golf Poll released on May 6. This was the fourth straight week Clemson has been ranked second in the nation. Clemson has been in tournaments with 20 of the top 25 teams in the nation and Clemson has a stroke advantage over all 20 teams and has a winning record against 17 of those 20 teams. Clemson is jusgt 1-4 against UNLV, but has a stroke margin of seven in its favor. TCU is the only other top 25 teams (2-3) with a winning record against Clemson. Clemson is 1-1 vs. Southern Cal.

Clemson’s number-two ranking is its highest since the preseason of 1988-89 when a team led by Chris Patton and Kevin Johnson was the number-one team in the nation in the preseason poll.

    Clemson in Golfstat National Statistics (As of May 20, 1998)Overall Individual Rankings    *John Engler, 1st, Greens in regulation, .859    *John Engler, 2nd, Fairways hit, .902    *Charles Warren, 2nd, Subpar strokes/round, 4.11    *Charles Warren, 4th, putts on greens in reg, 1.796    *Charles Warren, 2nd, par 4 scoring, 4.02    *Charles Warren, 4th, greens in regulation, .718    *Jonathan Byrd,7th, subpar strokes/Rnd, 3.88    *Jonathan Byrd, 3rd, total short game, .691    *Jonathan Byrd, 4th, putts on greens in reg, 1.790Team Rankings    *2nd in subpar strokes/round,  3.38    *2nd in putts on greens in regulation    *2nd in par 4 scoring, 4.13    *1st in fairways hit, .752    *1st in total short game, .592    *3rd in par 5 scoring, 4.76    *lst in greens in regulation, .696

Team Sets Record for Sub 280 Rounds

Clemson posted a 279 team score in the second round of the Cuscowilla Intercollegiate on March 23 and set a school season record in the process. It marked the fifth time this year that Clemson had posted a team score under 280 for an individual team round, the most in a season in Clemson history.

Since then, Clemson has had two more sub-280 rounds, both at the ACC Tournament at the Old North State Course in New London, NC, giving Clemson seven sub-280 rounds for the year.

This year’s performance broke the record of four sub-280 rounds set by Clemson’s 1986-87 team. That team featured Kevin Johnson and Chris Patton, a pair of first-team All-Americans. Larry Penley’s Tigers had three players in the 60s for the day’s work as Charles Warren and Lucas Glover shot 68s and Jonathan Byrd fired a 69. The Tigers added a 280 team score in the final round.

Clemson’s top round this year took place on September 16, the second round of the season, when the Tigers had a 273 team score for the second round of the Palmetto Classic. The -15 team score included rounds of 67 by Elliot Gealy and Charles Warren and a 67 by Jonathan Byrd. Joey Maxon’s 71 also counted toward the team score that established an all-time school record for team round.

Clemson has had 22 rounds at 279 or better in its history and seven have taken place this year. Clemson has also broken another school record in terms of team rounds under par. Of Clemson’s 36 team rounds this year, 16 have been under par and three more at par. That means more than half the rounds this year (52.7 percent) have been at par or better, another school record.

    Clemson Top Team Rounds in History    Date    Tournament             Site           Rd    Par Tot    9-5-97    Palmetto Classic     Kiawah Is, SC   2    -15 273    11-27-97  Mauna Kea Inv.       Kamuela, HI     1    -14 274    6-7-89    NCAAs                Edmond, OK      1    -6  274    2-27-87   Palmetto Classic     Santee, SC      1    -14 274    5-17-92   ACC Tournament       Rocky Mount, NC  3   -12 276    2-26-89   Palmetto Classic     Santee, SC       2   -12 276    11-16-90  Golf World           Hilton Head, SC  1   -11 277    4-17-98   ACC Tourn.           Uwharrie Pt, NC  1   -11 277    4-19-98   ACC Tourn.           Uwharrie Pt, NC  3   -11 277

Three Under Par Rounds in One Tournament

In finished second at the NCAA East Regional, Clemson had three consecutive rounds under par, the second straight tournament and the third time this year Clemson has done that. Clemson was -20 for the NCAA East Regional, after finishing -28 for the ACC Tournament. Clemson also had three straight under-par rounds at the Carpet Classic.

In winning the ACC Tournament with a record -28 team score, Clemson shot an eleven-under 277 in the first and third rounds and a 282 in the second round, six-under-par.

Shooting under par for all three rounds is common this year, but unusual in Clemson golf history. Only eight times in the last 13 years has Clemson had three under par rounds in the same tournament, but it has happened three times this year. Clemson also turned the trick twice in 1993, once in 1992, once in 1987 and once in 1986.

Clemson has had 16 under par team rounds this year, a school single season record.

1998 Tigers Have Set Many Records

The 1998 Clemson golf team might be consider the best in Clemson history and there are many stats to back it up. The most noteworthy is team stroke average. The Tigers have a 71.76 team stroke average (counting top four scores each round). That stroke average is ahead of the record pace set by the 1988-89 Tigers, a team that had a 72.61 average for the season. That club featured All-Americans Chris Patton and Kevin Johnson. Only three teams in Clemson history have had lower than a 73.0 stroke average for an entire season, non under 72. The others were 1992-93 (72.87), and 1991-92 (72.92). This year’s Clemson team has a record five players with averages under 72.8, another first in Clemson history. Clemson might be the only school in the nation that can make that claim.

This Clemson team has already set the school record for rounds in the 60s. This team has 33 this season, including 11 by Charles Warren and nine by Jonathan Byrd. The team also needs just one more individual Top 10 finish to establish a school season record in that area. Clemson has 22 Top 10 finishes for individuals, the record is 22.

    Team Records Set:    *Most Team Rounds at par or better (19)    *Most team rounds under par (16)    *Most Team Tournaments under par (6)    *Highest percentage of Rounds 75 or under (82.7 percent)    *Lowest team tournament score , 836 at ACC Tournament    *Most Players under 73.0 average,  5

Individual Records Set *Rounds under par: Charles Warren, 19 *Stroke Average: Charles Warren, 71.66 *Lowest Aggregate score vs. par, Charles Warren (+6)

Warren Climbing up Career Charts

Charles Warren’s ACC Championship was his 21st top 10 finish as a Tiger, which moved him into a tie for second place in Clemson history in that category with Chris Patton. Kevin Johnson holds the record with 27 top 10 finishes in his career between 1985-89. Warren is also moving up the career lists in terms of rounds in the 60s (22), a figure that is currently tied for second with Johnson and trails Patton (30). Warren is also currently fourth in rounds of par or better (56) and third in rounds under par (44).

Warren’s 73.13 career stroke average is third best in Clemson history, trailing only Chris Patton (72.71), Kevin Johnson (72.86). Players must participate in 50 rounds to qualify. Warren is also tied for sixth in Clemson history with 49, so the NCAA Tournament will be his 50th as a Tiger. Warren is sixth in total rounds and fifth in rounds of 75 or better.

Three Tigers First-Team All-ACC

Clemson was the only school to have three members on the All-ACC golf team this year. Seniors Charles Warren and Joey Maxon were selected along with sophomore Jonathan Byrd. It was the third straight year that Warren was selected, while it was the second selection each for Maxon and Byrd. Maxon earned a berth on the team as a sophomore, but missed the team last year. Byrd is the first player in Clemson history to make first-team All-ACC as a freshman and a sophomore.

Five Tigers Under 72.8

Clemson might have the most balanced team in the nation. Afterall, who many teams have five players averaging under 72.8 in terms of stroke average for the season. This is the first team in Clemson history to have five players under 73, never mind 72.8. This is remarkable when you consider that entering this year only 10 time by eight different players had recorded season stroke averages of 73.0 or less. Now it has been done by five different players this year. Charles Warren’s 71.66 average is the best in Clemson history. Jonathan Byrd’s 72.33 figure is fifth best, while Joey Maxon’s 72.63 is eighth. Lucas Glover’s 72.74 is 10th best and John Engler.s 72.77 is 12th best. Both Glover and Engler are certain to break Chris Patton’s freshman record of 73.55.

Clemson Single Season Stroke Average Leaders    Rk  Name                   Yrs Rds  Stks    Avg    1.  Charles Warren      1997-98 35  2508    71.66    2.  Chris Patton        1988-89 40  2874    71.85    3.  Dillard Pruitt      1983-84 31  2230    71.94    4.  Kevin Johnson       1988-89 40  2889    72.22    5.  Jonathan Byrd       1997-98 36  2604    72.33        Kevin Johnson       1986-87 36  2604    72.33    7.  Richard Coughlan    1996-97 33  2392    72.48    8.  Joey Maxon          1997-98 30  2179    72.63    9.  Richard Coughlan    1994-95 36  2616    72.66    10. Lucas Glover        1997-98 27  1964    72.74    11. Nicky Goetze        1992-93 42  3056    72.76    12. John Engler         1997-98 30  2183    72.766    13. Jim Macfie          1983-84 31  2256    72.774  

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Glover Joins Exclusive Company

Freshman Lucas Glover joined an exclusive group of Clemson freshmen when he earned co-medalist honors at the Carpet Classic at the Farm April 3-5. Glover shot a 212 for the three rounds, a season best four-under-par. He fired consistent rounds of 69-71-72 in becoming just the second freshman in 11 years to win a tournament for the Tigers. Glover became just the fifth freshman in Clemson history to win a tournament. Jimmy White won two events, the South Carolina Intercollegiate and the College of Charleston Invitational in 1974-75 as a freshman. Tony Nimmer won the South Carolina Intercollegiate in his freshman year, 1979-80. Chris Patton won co-medalist honors at the Gamecock Invitational in 1986-87, his freshman season. Teammate Jonathan Byrd won the Puerto Rico Classic last year as a freshman.

The native of Greenville is on track to break Chris Patton’s freshman record. Of course teammate John Engler is close behind (.03) strokes per round.Glover has 13 rounds at par or better this season, including each of his last four.

Engler Leads nation in Greens in Regulation

Clemson has two freshmen chasing Chris Patton’s school record for stroke average by a rookie. John Engler out of Augusta, GA, has a 72.766 average. Engler has been one of the most consistent players in Clemson history, never mind for a freshman. Engler has hit 90.2 percent of his drives in the fairway, second in the country behind Jason Wyatt of Memphis (.905). Engler has reached the green in regulation 85.9 percent, first in the country by a wide margin.

Engler has been outstanding in each of Clemson’s last two tournaments, the ACC and the NCAA East Regional. He helped Clemson to a first-place ACC team finish with a 209 score and finished fifth place. That was the lowest ACC Tournament score ever by a Clemson freshman and the lowest score vs. par in Clemson history for a freshman in any tournament. Then the native of Augusta shot 213 at the Regional and finished 16th. Thus, Engler is -10 for his last six rounds of golf.

Maxon Showing Consistency

Senior Joey Maxon has been Clemson’s most consistent golfer of the spring. The native of Dover, DE has six top 16 finishes in his last eight tournament, including five top 10 finishes. He is coming of his best tournament as a Tiger, his 209 showing at the NCAA East Regional when he finished fifth overall. The 209 score and the -7 are career bests, a career that spans 43 tournaments. He had a fifth-place finish at the BELLSOUTH and a sixth-place finish at the Carpet Classic in March. He had a 215 for the three days at the Carpet Classic, his first under par tournament since the Carpet Classic in 1996. He shot an even par 216 at the ACC Tournament and finished 20th.

Thus, Maxon has four straight tournaments at par or better and has been at par or better in six of his last eight. He is -8 for his last 12 rounds of golf.

Maxon has had rounds of 75 or better in 23 of his last 25 trips around the course, including a season best 68 in the final round of the ACC Tournament, and a 68 at the first round of the East Regional. He has been at 73 or under in seven of his last eight rounds. He hasa 71.33 average for his last 12 rounds.

Maxon started the streak with an eighth-place finish in Mauna Kea in December when he shot a 216 total in the last tournament of the fall. He had a 216 at Puerto Rico, Clemson’s best score of the event, then had a 218 at the Golf Digest, good enough for 16th place. Maxon has a 72.63 average for this year, much improved over his 74.37 average of 1996-97. Maxon was an honorable mention All-American and first-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore. For his career, Maxon has a 74.02 average for 122 rounds and 43 tournaments. The NCAA East was his 13th career top 10 finish, his third in the last four events.

Byrd Has Seven Top 10 Finishes

Jonathan Byrd, the native of Columbia, had his seventh Top 10 finish this season, best on the team, when he finished eighth at the ACC Tournament. He had a -6 score for the three days, 210, the low tournament of his career. Four has been the number for Byrd this year as he has finished in fourth place, in four different tournaments.

At the Carpet Classic, Byrd had his second straight model of consistency showing. He had rounds of 73-71-70 after ronds of 70-69-71 at the Cuscowilla Invitational. Prior to that he was two-under par at the Golf Digest. For the entire academic year Byrd is just 21 over par, including +14 when he slumped to a season worst 230 at the BELLSOUTH.

Byrd is now second to Charles Warren in season stroke average with a 72.33 figure. Both are natives of Columbia. Byrd has nine rounds in the 60s second best on the Clemson team and already third in Clemson history for a single season. He has at 73.14 average for his career, fourth best in Clemson history. Byrd is trying to become just the third player in Clemson history to average under 72.0 for a season. The only two to do it previously are Chris Patton and Dillard Pruitt. Patton had a 71.85 in 1988-89 and Pruitt had a 71.94 in 1983-84. Of course Charles Warren could also do it. Warren has a 71.66 figure that would be best in Clemson history if the season ended today.

Byrd has a 73.14 stroke average for his career and now has 13 Top 10 finishes in his 24 tournament career. He is among an elite few Clemson players who have finished in the top 10 in 50 percent of their tournaments.

    Clemson Career Stroke Average Leaders        (Minimum 50 rounds)    Rk  Name                   Yrs  Rds Stks    Avg    1.  Chris Patton        1986-90 139 10,106  72.71    2.  Kevin Johnson       1985-89 147 10,711  72.86    3.  Charles Warren      1994-98 140 10,238  73.13    4.  Jonathan Byrd       1996-98  74 5412    73.14    5.  Nicky Goetze        1989-93 159 11,638  73.19    6.  Richard Coughlan    1993-97 144 10,552  73.28    7.  Dillard Pruitt      1980-84 125 9,180   73.44    8.  Clarence Rose       1978-80  61 4,500   73.77    9.  Danny Ellis         1989-93 138 10,181  73.78

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