March 12, 2006
Las Vegas, NV- Brian Duncan shot an even par 72 on Sunday to lead Clemson to a fifth-place team finish at the 15-team Southern Highlands Intercollegiate in Las Vegas, NV. The Tigers finished with a team score of 902, just three shots behind Oklahoma State, who finished third.
In many ways it was the top performance of the year for the Tigers. The field included 13 of the top 25 teams in the nation and it was Clemson’s first top five team finish of the year. UNLV, the host school, won the event with a 15-over-par score of 879, 10 shots better than number-one ranked Georgia. Clemson was tied with Arizona State and Texas A&M for fifth. UCLA was eighth at 41-over par 905, while Georgia Tech was ninth at 911.
Duncan finished seventh individually with a five-over-par 221 score, the second best finish of his career and the best since he finished third at The Ridges in the fall of 2004. Duncan had rounds of 76-73-72 on the par 72 Southern Highlands Course that is 7,510 yards in length. The senior from Greenville should enhance his #23 national ranking in the latest Sagarin computer rankings. He had nine hole scores of 37-35 on Sunday. He had two birdies and one bogey on the back nine for a strong finish. His 72 on Sunday tied for the fourth best score of the day.
Vince Hatfield, Clemson’s top golfer over the first two rounds when he had a pair of 72s, slipped to a 79 on Sunday, but he still finished 13th in the 79-player field. The freshman from Greenwood, SC had three double bogeys, including one on the 17th hole that cost him a top 10 finish in his first collegiate tournament. Still, his performance was a big reason Clemson recorded its first top five team finish of the year. Stephen Poole shot a 78 on Sunday and he finished 30th overall with a 230 score. He had a strong start on Sunday and was even par through eight holes, but had a double bogey on the ninth hole and finished with a 40 on the back. David May had two double bogeys over the last four holes and finished with an 81 and his score did not count towards Clemson’s team score. He had a 231 score for the tournament and finished 36th individually.
Phillip Mollica had his third consecutive round of 78, but his score counted towards Clemson’s team score for the first time in the tournament. His birdie on the 18th hole allowed Clemson to tie Arizona State and Texas A&M and a top five finish. He finished 54th with his 234 individual score.
The course proved to be very difficult as only one player was under par for the event and that was UNLV’s Matt Kinsinger who plays the course every day. He actually played the event as an individual and his score did not count towards the UNLV team score. Five of the top 15 golfers for the tournament were from champion UNLV.
Clemson’s next tournament will be in Houston at the Hall of Fame Invitational at the Red Stone Golf Club March 17-19. It will be Clemson’s first ever appearance at the event.
Clemson at Southern Highlands Intercollegiate
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