May 19, 2001
Williamsburg, VA- Four Clemson golfers had rounds in the 60s on Saturday, leading Clemson to a fourth-place finish at the NCAA East Regionals in Williamsburg, VA. Clemson now will prepare for the NCAA National event at the Duke University Course May 30 to June 2. It marks the 20th consecutive year that Clemson has qualified for the NCAA National tournament, the second longest active streak in the nation.
Clemson entered Saturday’s final round just three strokes ahead ofthe 10-team cutline. But, Larry Penley’s Tigers responded to the pressure by shooting a 15-under-par team score of 273 and jumped from eighth place to fourth for the 54-hole event. Clemson’s 273 team round on Saturday was the low round for any team in the entire 27-team tournament.
The 15-under-par team score on Saturday was tied for the second best 18-hole team score vs. par in Clemson history. The only single round that is better is the 16-under-par turned in by this same team in the third round at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate this past October 17.
All five Clemson golfers finished the tournament under par, just the third time in school history that has happened. The previous occasions were at the 1999 San Juan Shootout, and at the 1987 Palmetto Classic.
Leading the way on Saturday were sophomore D.J. Trahan and senior Lucas Glover. Both had struggled on Friday, as Glover shot a 75 and Trahan a 74. But, both golfers improved by seven shots on Saturday. Trahan’s 67 included seven birdies and a double bogey. The 2000 United States Public Links Champion finished his round with birdies on 16, 17 and 18.
Glover’s 68 was recorded with a score of 34 on each side. He had five birdies and a bogey in recording his first round in the 60s since February 27th when he shot a final round 67 to win the Puerto Rico Classic.
John Engler and Jani Saari, a pair of seniors who did not want this to be their final round of golf as Clemson Tigers, each had rounds of 69. Engler finished the tournament with a 211 score, good enough for 17th place. Saari finished 27th with a 212 score, the second lowest tournament of his Clemson career.
Clemson’s top finisher for the 54-hole event did not have his score count toward the team total on Saturday. Freshmen Gregg Jones, finished a great weekend with a 71 on Saturday and a 210 total, six-under-par. It was the first top 10 finish of the season for Jones. He entered the regional with just six under-par rounds all year, then had three under-par rounds at the NCAA regional.
East Tennessee State won the tournament with a 36-under-par score. NC State was second at 28 under, while Florida was third at 27 under par. Clemson was fourth at 22 under, one stroke better than number-one ranked Georgia, and Virginia Tech. Georgia Tech was seventh at 18-under, while Georgia Southern was eighth at 15-under-par. UAB was ninth at nine under.
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