Clemson Finishes Third At Ford US Collegiate

April 9, 2001

Puerta Vallarta, MX–John Engler shot an even-par 216 score to record his 20th career top 10 individual finish, leading Clemson to a third-place team ranking at the Ford US Collegiate Golf Championship over the weekend. The event was played at the par 72, 7057-yard Vista Vallarta Golf Club in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.

The tournament will be shown on a tape delayed basis on ESPN-2 this Saturday (2:00 PM) and Sunday (3:00 PM).

Georgia won the event with an 835 team score, a 29-under-par total. The Bulldogs were 33 shots better than second-place Georgia Tech. Clemson and Arizona State tied for third with 874 scores. The Tigers had a consistent 292-290-292 team score over the three rounds.

TCU and Arizona tied for fifth, while UNLV was seventh. Defending National Champion Oklahoma State and SEC power Florida tied for eighth. Houston was 10th, Northwestern finished 11th and Kent State was 12th. The 12-team field was composed entirely of top 25 teams.

Luke Donald of Northwestern won the tournament individually with a 202 score, the lowest 54-hole score in Northwestern history. It was his 10th career tournament victory. Nick Cassini of Georgia was second (204) followed by his Bulldog teammate Erik Compton (207).

Engler had rounds of 71-73-72 in his 10th-place finish. He was tied with Brad McIntosh of Houston and Chez Reavie of Arizona State. It was the sixth top 10 finish this year for the Clemson senior from Augusta, GA. Engler was outstanding on the par 5s, scoring five-under par for the tournament, fourth best among all competitors.

Ben Duncan had a 78 in the final round, but his 222 score for the three days was the second best tournament among Tigers. His 222 score included a one-under-par 71 in the second round. He finished tied for 27th.

Lucas Glover was one stroke back at 223. The Clemson All-American struggled to an 80 in the first round, then settled down with a par 72 and a one-under 71 on the final day. His 71 on the final day was the best score turned in by a Tiger in the last round.

A bright spot on the weekend was the play of Tripp James. The junior from Spartanburg, SC played his first college tournament and turned in a 225 total. His rounds of 76-74-75 counted towards Clemson’s team score each day, something only Engler could also claim among the five Tigers on the trip. James had 39 pars for the three rounds. Only Cody Breyer of Arizona and Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech had more (40).

Jani Saari, a third senior in Clemson’s lineup, had rounds of 72-77-74 and finished at 223, tied for 34th. Clemson will next be in action April 20-22 when the Tigers defend their ACC Championship at the Disney Golf Complex in Orlando, FL.

Clemson at Ford US Collegiate Golf Championship April 6-8 Vista Vallarta Golf Club Puerta Vallarta, MX

John Engler 71-73-72 216 10th
Ben Duncan 73-71-78 222 27th
Lucas Glover 80-72-71 223 34th
Jani Saari 72-77-74 223 34th
Tripp James 76-74-75 225 42nd
Totals 292-290-292 874 3rd