May 16, 2009
Clemson, SC-Kyle Stanley won a two-hole playoff against John Hahn of Kent State for the final spot in the NCAA Tournament, but he will be the only Tiger to compete at Inverness in two weeks. Clemson’s team had a final round 299 total and finished at 56 over par 908 and missed the cut for the national championship tournament at the Northeast Regional at Galloway National Golf Club in Galloway, NJ on Saturday.
Alabama won the regional title with a 22 over par score of 874 and will be joined at the national tournament in Toledo, OH May 26-30 by Tennessee, Illinois, Virginia and Wake Forest. Clemson finished 18 shots off the fifth place cutline after Saturday’s 299 score on the par 71 course that is 7022 yards had length.
Stanley had a final round 73 to go with rounds of 72 the first two rounds. The Clemson junior who will turn pro after the NCAA Tournament, finished in a tie for third place with his 217 score. Stanley stumbled down the stretch by making bogeys on holes 6-8. But he birdied the par five ninth hole, his final hole of the tournament, to force a playoff for the final individual spot in the tournament. The top golfer not on a team that qualifies for the national tournament is given a berth in the national event.
Stanley and Hahn went to the 10th hole to start the playoff. Stanley made a 18 foot putt for birdie, but then Hahn sank a seven footer to send the playoff to the next hole, the par five 16th. Stanley hit his second shot in a greenside bunker, then got up and down for birdie to win the hole and advance. Hahn made a par, sending Stanley to the NCAAs. It was the fourth playoff win at a college or amateur tournament for Stanley in the last three years.
It is the second time in the last three years that Stanley will play in the national tournament as an individual. He finished second to Jamie Lovemark of Southern California in 2007 and was seventh last year.
Luke Hopkins of Greer, SC was Clemson’s second best golfer on Saturday and second best for the entire event. He had a 74 on Saturday for his best round of the tournament and finished 27th in the field of 75 golfers at 226. He had rounds of 76-76-74 for the three days. He played his last four holes Saturday at one under par.
Ben Martin started Saturday with consecutive birdies, but made four consecutive bogeys on holes 13-16. He finished with a 76 and a three day score of 232, 49th place individually.
Phillip Mollica ended his Clemson career with a round of 76 and a three-day total of 233. He had rounds of 81-76-76. David May had an 83 on Saturday after rounds of 81-78 to open the tournament. May is a senior from Auburn, NY who had a 242 total for the tournament. A nine on the par five 16th hole ruined May’s final round as a Clemson golfer.
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