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Clemson Fails to Advance from Playoff

May 19, 2007

Alpharetta, GA — Cameron Hooper, who had shot an 82 earlier in the day as the non-counting member of the Coastal Carolina team, sank the winning birdie putt on the fourth playoff hole to lead Coastal Carolina to a playoff victory over Clemson and advance to the NCAA National Golf Tournament.

Clemson and Coastal Carolina had tied for 10th place at 884 strokes after regulation play. Only 10 teams advance from each regional so the two teams went into a playoff that began at 5:15 PM. The two teams were in a tie after each of the first three holes and went to a fourth extra hole before the outcome was decided. Clemson never made a birdie for the four playoff holes and saw its season end in the regional for just the second time since the regional format began in 1989. This will mark just the second year since 1982 that Clemson will not compete in the NCAA National tournament.

The playoff lasted two hours and 35 minutes.

Georgia won the tournament with a nine-under par 855, 12 shots ahead of Florida, Auburn and host school Georgia Tech. Florida State, who had the team round of the day at 281, finished fifth at 873.

Kyle Stanley fired a five-under-par 67 on Saturday, his best score versus par of the year to lead the Tigers. He also had a 67 on a par 70 course in Hawaii in November. The ACC Player of the Year had six birdies and one bogey in recording the best round by a Clemson freshman in NCAA regional Tournament play since Mark Swygert shot a 66 at the Yale University Course in 1991. It was the best score by any Tiger in a regional since the 2003 regional at Auburn when Gregg Jones and Matt Hendrix each shot 67s.

Stanley’s third-place finish overall was the best ever by a Clemson freshman in an NCAA Tournament and the best by any Clemson golfer in a regional since 2002 when D.J. Trahan won medallist honors at the East Regional at Settindown Creek near Atlanta. Stanley’s 211 score for the 54 holes was also the best by a Clemson golfer on a par 72 course at a regional since Gregg Jones shot a 208 at Auburn in 2003.

Stanley’s third place finish was good enough to get him to the NCAA National Tournament at Williamsburg, VA as and individual. He will compete for the individual national championship from May 30 to June 2.

Stanley had his only bogey of the day on the 17th hole, his eighth hole of the day. He then made a 10 foot putt for birdie on the 18th hole, a 10 footer for birdie on one, a 20 footer for birdie on three and a 25 footer for birdie on the fifth hole. The 20-footer on the third hole was especially gratifying for Stanley after he had bogeyed the hole on Friday. His birdie on the first hole, his 10-th hole of the day, was his 100th birdie of the season. Stanley’s round of 67 could have been even better. He missed putts for six feet or less for birdie on the second, eighth and ninth holes.

Stanley finished in a tie for third for the 54-hole event with his 211 score. Brandon Todd of Georgia and Billy Horschel of Florida each had six under par scores of 210. Stanley tied for third with Chris Kirk of Georgia.

David May was Clemson’s second best golfer on Saturday and its second best golfer for the tournament. The native of Auburn, NY had an even par 72 on Saturday, his fifth round of par or better in his last six rounds. It was his sixth even par round of the year, tops on the Clemson team.

May finished with a wild ride. He had birdies on the fourth and fifth holes, then bogeyed the sixth and seventh. He came back with a birdie on number-eight. He hit his third shot over the green on the par five ninth hole. He hit his chip 12 feet past the hole. But, he made the putt for par, a putt Clemson had to have or it would not have advanced to the playoff. May finished with a score of 220, tied for 23rd in the field.

Sam Saunders was Clemson’s third best player on Saturday with a three over par 75. A highlight of Saunders day was a birdie on the 230-yard par three sixth hole, ranked as the hardest hole on the course throughout the tournament. He made a 30-foot putt for the birdie. It was the first day that Saunders score had counted towards Clemson’s team round after a pair of 79s to open the tournament.

Ben Martin and Tanner Ervin both had rounds of 78 on Saturday. Martin had a triple bogey on the par three 13th hole, a hole that gave Clemson difficulty all week. He came back strong to shoot even par on the front side, his final nine holes of the day. He played his second nine holes in two under par for the three rounds this week. Ervin had a solid round going until he made double bogeys on the sixth and eighth holes, his 15th and 17th holes of the day.

Clemson at NCAA East Regionalat Lakeside Course, Golf Club of GeorgiaPar 72, 7017 Yards

Kyle Stanley            73      71      67      211     -5      3RDDavid May               71      77      72      220     +4      23rdBen Martin              75      74      78      227     +11     72Tanner Ervin            74      77      78      229     +13     87thSam Saunders            79      79      75      233     +17     103Clemson team            293     299     292     884     +20     10th