Greensboro, NC—Alice Hewson scored a four-under par 68, the best round of the day among the 60 golfers, leading Clemson to a third-place finish at the ACC Women’s Golf Championships at The Grandover Golf East Course on Monday. The third-place finish was the best at the conference tournament in the five-year history of the Clemson women’s golf program.
Fifth-ranked Duke won the tournament with an ACC record 15-under par score of 849. Florida State was second at 876 and Clemson was third just a shot back. Clemson’s 877 score matched its 877 and 13-over-par score of last year at The Reserve at Pawley’s Island, but the Tigers finished two spots higher in the standings on Monday.
“I am very proud of the girls,” said Head Coach Kelley Hester. “This is a hard course and the weather today made it even tougher, but we fought all day. We and Florida State both wish we had given Duke more of a challenge, but we had quite a battle for second. This tournament was very good preparation for the NCAA Tournament. It was like playing in a regional. We were seeded ninth and finished third so it should give us confidence for the NCAAs.
Hewson had a near flawless round with four birdies and 14 pars. She finished ninth with a score of 217 for the 54 holes and three days. The native of the United Kingdom had rounds of 70-79-68. Her score in the second round did not count towards Clemson’s team score, the first time in her career her score did not count. It ended a Clemson record streak of 91 consecutive counting scores.
“I knew Alice would play better today,” said Hester. “She showed what she was capable of doing. We told her and all the girls just to go out and have fun.” Of the 60s players in the field, 18 were ranked in the top 100 by Golfstat and Hewson had the top score of the day.
The highlight of Hewson’s round was a 36-foot birdie on the par three 16th hole. The 68 was a Clemson record for the ACC Tournament and Hewson’s low score since she had a 67 back on October 9, 2017 at the Betsy Rawls Invitational. The average score for the 60 players on Monday was 75 and Hewson was one of just two players to shoot in the 60s
Clemson had three players finish in the top 12 at the ACC Tournament for the first time. In addition to Hewson’s ninth place, sophomore Kennedy Swann finished tied for 10th and senior Sydney Legacy finished 12th. Swann had rounds of 72-71 and 75. The native of Austin, Texas was three-over-par through six holes on Monday, then regrouped to play par golf over the last 12 holes, including a birdie on the final hole.
Legacy had rounds of 69-73-77 to finish with a 219 score. The native of Lexington, SC finished the tournament with 11 birdies, tied for the most among Clemson golfers with Hewson. It was the fifth consecutive top 13 finish for Legacy.
Ana Paula Valdes was Clemson’s second best player on Monday with a two over par 74. She had just one birdie, but had just three bogeys and 14 pars. She made an impressive par on the last hole after hitting her drive in the water.
Marisa Messana, the first Clemson women’s golfer to play in four ACC Tournaments, finished with an 80 on Monday and had a 233 total for the 54 holes.
Clemson’s next tournament will be the NCAA Regional at a site to be determined. The NCAA will announce the regional assignments on Wednesday, April 25 at 5:30 p.m. on Golf Channel.
ACC Women’s Golf Championship
Grandover Golf Club East Course
April 21-23, 2018
1. Duke 849, 2. Florida State 876, 3. Clemson 877, 4. Virginia 885, 5. Wake Forest 890, 6. Miami (FL) 893, 7. Louisville 894, 8. North Carolina and NC State 895, 10. Notre Dame 898, 11. Virginia Tech 899, 12. Boston College 922
Alice Hewson 70-79-68/ 217; 10. Kennedy Swann 72-71-75/218; 12. Sydney Legacy 69-73-77/ 219; 25. Ana Paula Valdes 75-75-74/ 224; 49. Marisa Messana 75-78-80/ 233.