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#1 Ranked Tigers Travel to ACC Tournament

#1 Ranked Tigers Travel to ACC Tournament

April 15, 2003

Clemson, SC-Larry Penley’s #1 ranked Clemson golf team will travel to the Old North State Club at New London, NC April 18-20 to compete in the 50th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Golf Tournament. The Tigers have won the event seven times in history, including a co-championship in 1990. Clemson was victorious as recently as 2000, an event that was also held at the Old North State Club.

This promises to be a tournament that will have an impact on the national polls, as the Tigers are ranked first in the nation in the latest Golf Coaches Association poll and the Golfweek/Sagarin poll. ACC schools Wake Forest (2nd), North Carolina (10th), Georgia Tech (15), and NC State (16) are also top 20 teams according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings through tournaments of April 13.

This will be Clemson’s seventh trip to the par 72 Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. Clemson claimed two of its seven previous championships at the Old North State Club, including the 1998 and 2000 events. Clemson finished fourth in 1999 and 1995, and third in 1996 and 2002 in its other appearances at the Old North State Club. Clemson will bring four players to the Old North State Club who competed in the ACC tournament for Clemson previously. Those players are D.J. Trahan, Gregg Jones, Matt Hendrix and Ben Duncan. It will be the fourth ACC Tournament for Trahan, the third for Jones and Duncan and the second for Hendrix. Sophomore Jack Ferguson, who is ranked eighth in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, will be making his first appearance at the ACC Tournament.

Trahan was Clemson’s top finisher last year with a sixth-place finish after shooting rounds of 71-68-70 for a seven-under-par 209. For his career, he has a 71.33 stroke average for nine ACC Tournament rounds. He has a 70.33 stroke average for his six previous rounds at the Old North State Club, nearly identical to his 70.31 stroke average for this season, a figure that is third in the nation. He finished fourth in the ACC Tournament as a freshman at the Old North State Club in 2000 with a 213 figure. Jones has a 72.0 stroke average for his six previous rounds in the ACC Tournament. He was 22nd as a freshman and 11th last year when he was at four-under-par 212. He is fourth on the club this year in stroke average with a 72.42 average, but ranks 40th nationally.

Duncan finished 35th as a sophomore at the ACC Tournament and 11th last year at the Old North State Club with a 212 total. He has a 74.09 stroke average this year, but is coming off a one-under-par tournament performance at the Augusta State Invitational. Hendrix was also in the top 15 a year ago at the ACC Tournament with a 214 score, including a second round 69. He has a 71.54 stroke average this year, third best on the team and 28th in the nation. He is ranked 14th in the nation according to the Sagarin rankings.

Ferguson will be in his first ACC Tournament, but the sophomore from Seneca is a veteran of 15 tournaments in his young Clemson career. His 71.27 stroke average is second best on the Clemson team and 20th in the nation. He is ranked eighth in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ranking.

Clemson has won three of the last six ACC Tournaments and six of the last 16 dating to 1987. A Clemson golfer has won the medallist honors six times, including twice by Charles Warren (1997-98). The other Clemson golfers to win the ACC Tournament are Parker Moore (1976), Kevin Johnson (1988), Danny Ellis (1993), and John Engler (2001).

Clemson has won three events and finished in the top three in every tournament this year. The Tigers won the Topy Cup in Japan, the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA and the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in Birmingham, AL this past fall. Clemson has finished second in four of the five tournaments this spring, plus gained a third place finish at the Las Vegas Invitational.

Clemson has a streak of 14 straight third-place or better finishes over the last two years. This is the longest streak of its kind in Clemson history. The previous record was just five consecutive tournaments. The last time Clemson failed to finish in the top three was a sixth-place finish at the 2002 Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, GA in March of 2002.

Clemson Lineup for 2003 ACC Tournament 2002-03 Stats

Name Cl. Hometown Trns Avg Rank
D.J. Trahan Sr. Inman, SC 9 70.31 1
Jack Ferguson So. Seneca, SC 9 71.27 8
Matt Hendrix Jr. Aiken, SC 9 71.54 14
Gregg Jones Jr. Florence, SC 9 72.42 38
Ben Duncan Sr. Greenville, SC 8 74.09

Rank is Sagarin ranking