April 25, 2010
NEW LONDON, NC – Ben Martin fired a final round 69 to lead Clemson to a sixth place finish at the ACC Men’s Golf Tournament at The Old North State Club in New London, NC. Martin finished with a 54-hole score of two under par 214, best among the Tigers at the annual event.
Georgia Tech won the tournament for the second straight year. It was the second time in three years Clemson finished sixth at the ACC Tournament. The last year that happened was 2008 when Clemson went on to finish fifth at the NCAA Championships, best among ACC programs that year. Clemson shot a 293 team score on Sunday, breaking a streak of nine straight team rounds under par at The Old North State Club.
Martin had rounds of 71-74-69 in his first event since playing in the Masters. He had a solid round in windy conditions with four birdies and a bogey. He hit 17 greens in regulation on the day and had birdies on one, four, 10 and 11. He made a five foot putt for birdie on the 10th hole and a 10 footer on 11. His only bogey came on the sixth hole when he drove the ball into a fairway bunker just under the lip and could not reach the green with his second shot. Martin improved from 26th place to 12th in the final standings with his performance on Sunday in his final ACC Tournament round.
His 12th place finished was the third straight top 15 finish at the ACC Tournament for Martin, who finished eighth at the 2008 tournament with a 211 score, and 15th last year with a 217 score. He missed the ACC Tournament as a freshman with a heart ailment.
Luke Hopkins was Clemson’s second best golfer on Sunday with an even par 72. The senior was four-under-par through seven holes. He made birdie on the first hole, then sank a 30-foot putt for eagle on the fourth hole, the second straight day he eagled the fourth hole. It was his fifth eagle on the year, most on the Clemson team.
But Hopkins struggled on the back nine, including a four-putt on the 15th hole for double bogey. For the week, the Clemson senior was six under par on the front nine and eight over par on the back nine. Still his 218 score and 23rd place finish were the best of his career at the ACC Tournament.
Jacob Burger shot a 75 on Sunday and finished the tournament with a 216 score, second best among Clemson golfers. Clemson’s number-four player entering the tournament, Burger had rounds of 68-73-75. His 68 in the first round was the best by a Tiger this week. He had a triple bogey on the par-four eighth hole when he drove the ball out of bounds. Other than that he played even par golf for the day.
Freshmen Corbin Mills and Crawford Reeves had been outstanding the first two rounds at The Old North State Club, but struggled on Sunday. Mills finished with a five over par 77, while Reeves bogeyed his last six holes and finished with an 80.
The Tigers now await an NCAA Tournament bid. The NCAA Regionals begin May 20. Clemson will be assigned to one of six sites a week from Monday.
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