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Clemson Finishes Second at Puerto Rico Classic

March 1, 2009

Clemson, South Carolina – Ben Martin fired a final round 66 and finished third overall, leading Clemson to a second-place team finish out of 15 teams at the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The tournament that included six top 15 teams, was played at the par 72 Rio Mar Country Club course.

Georgia won the event with a 38-under par score of 826. Clemson’s 838 score was 26 under par, tied for the eighth best team score vs. par in Clemson history. It was the best team score vs. par by a Clemson team since a 26-under score at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in the fall of 2004.

Oklahoma State, ranked second in the nation entering the tournament, finished third, 10 shots behind the Tigers at 848. Texas was fourth (853), followed by Georgia Tech (85). In addition to the 10-shot victory over second-ranked Oklahoma State, the Tigers defeated fourth ranked Alabama by 27 shots.

Martin’s 66 on Sunday was the best by a Clemson individual this year and his 206 score for the three rounds was the low score by a Clemson golfer since Jack Ferguson had a 206 at the 2004 ACC Tournament. His round on Sunday included seven birdies and one bogey. Martin played the par five holes at eight under par for the tournament, tied for the best in the 75-player field.

All five Clemson golfers shot even par or better in each of the last two rounds. That was a first for a Clemson team since the 2003 National Championship team did that at the Augusta State Invitational on April 5-6 of 2003. Clemson’s 275 team score on Saturday was the best by a Clemson team since a 20-under par 268 was recorded at the 2006 ACC Tournament.

Martin had strong support from his veteran teammates as two other Tigers had top 10 finishes. David May had a 208 score for the three days, and finished in a tie for sixth place. May, like Martin, had three consecutive under-par rounds, including an opening round 68. He played the par three holes at two under par for the three days and finished with 38 pars, most among the Clemson golfers.

Stanley had 16 birdies in his 54 holes, tied for the most among the 75 golfers in the event, and finished tied for ninth with a 209 score. Stanley had a 67 in the second round to lead the Tigers that day. Stanley now has shot par or better in four of his five tournaments this year an has four top 10 finishes.

Phillip Mollica and Sam Saunders both finished with 218 scores for the three days, tied for 30th. Mollica contributed to Clemson’s 275 team score in the second round with a 69, while Saunders had a pair of even par rounds of 72.

Clemson at Puerto Rico ClassicFeb 27 to March 1, 2009

Ben Martin 71 69 66 206 -10 3rd
David May 68 70 70 208 -8 6th
Kyle Stanley 72 67 70 209 -7 9th
Sam Saunders 74 72 72 218 +2 30th
Phillip Mollica 77 69 72 218 +2 30th
Total 285 275 278 838 -26 2nd