Sept. 19, 1999
Opelika, Ala. – Freshman D.J. Trahan shot a four-under-par 68 in his first college tournament, leading Clemson to a six-stroke lead after the first round of the Ping-Golfweek Preview Invitational at the Lake Course at Grand National Country Club in Opelika, AL.
This tournament is played on the site of next spring’s NCAA championship and the event features 18 of the top teams in the nation. Clemson holds a six-shot lead after firing a team score of 279, nine-under par.
Clemson is six shots ahead of Northwestern and Georgia. Arizona State and Oklahoma State are tied for fourth. ACC rival Georgia Tech is sixth, while Houston is seventh. North Carolina is the only other ACC team in the field and the Tar Heels are 16th with a 306 score, 27 shots behind the Tigers.
Trahan, a freshman from Dorman High School in Inman, SC, shot a 32 on the back nine to highlight his performance. His 68 score is the lowest by a Clemson player in his first round as a Tiger since Sam Olson shot a 68 in the first round of the Southwestern Intcollegiate in the fall of 1987.
Trahan’s 68 total is tied for second after one round with defending NCAA Champion Luke Donald of Northwestern. Bubba Watson of Georgia holds the individual lead with a 67.
Trahan was one of four Tigers to shoot under-par in the opening round, a major improvement over the first tournament of the year when only one Clemson player had a round under-par.
Supporting Trahan were returning All-Americans Jonathan Byrd, Lucas Glover and John Engler. Engler fired a 69, including a 34 on the front side, and is tied for fourth with B.J. Staten of Houston. Byrd and Glover both shots 71s and are tied for 11th. This is the first tournament of the year for Byrd. The senior from Columbia missed The Ridges Intercollegiate last weekend while playing for the United States in the Walker Cup.
Freshman Ben Duncan had a 73 in the opening round to complete Clemson’s scoring. His individual score did not count toward Clemson’s team score, but he stands a solid 27th in the individual race, tied with, among others Georgia Tech All-American Bryce Molder, and Oklahoma State All-American Edward Loar.
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