May 8, 2006
Clemson received a bid to the NCAA men’s golf tournament for the 25th consecutive year on Monday. It is the longest streak of NCAA team tournament appearances in any sport in Clemson athletics history and the sixth longest active streak among Division I golf programs.
The Tigers will travel to the Central Regional for the first time ever and will compete at the Sand Ridge Golf Club in Cleveland, OH May 18-20. Clemson had been send to the East Regional each of the last 17 years. This will be the first NCAA Tournament held at Sand Ridge, a Tom Fazio Course that opened in 1998. The course is ranked 52nd best in the United States by Golf Digest.
Clemson will be the fourth seed in the Central Regional. Oklahoma State is seeded one, followed by Georgia Tech, Texas A&M, Clemson, Duke and Texas. Clemson, Georgia Tech and Duke are the only three ACC teams in the Central Regional.
Clemson had made the cut at the NCAA Regional to reach the national stage of the event 16 consecutive years prior to last year when Clemson missed advancing by two shots. Clemson had competed in the national championship tournament 23 consecutive years, including 22 in a row under Larry Penley prior to last year.
Clemson has shown considerable improvement this year and enters the regional off a streak of three consecutive top three finishes, the first time the Tigers have entered the NCAAs with three straight top three finishes since 2003, the year Clemson won the national championship.
Clemson has been chosen to the NCAA Regional every year since the NCAA adopted the format in 1989. Prior to 1989, 30 teams were chosen for a national tournament. Clemson has won a regional championship seven times in its history, more than any other school. Clemson won NCAA East Regional in 1993-94-95, 2000, 2002-03-04. Larry Penley has been the head coach each year Clemson has won the regional championship and he is obviously the NCAA leader in regional championships by a coach.
Clemson will take a team of two seniors, two freshmen and a sophomore to the NCAA Central Regional. All-ACC golfers Stephen Poole and Brian Duncan will lead the Tigers. Duncan has a 72.81 stroke average this year and has eight top 20 finishes in his nine events. Poole has a 73.10 stroke average for the season and has Clemson’s only individual victory of the year. His 211 score won the United States Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia on April 11. Poole was Clemson’s top golfer at the NCAA East Regional in Nashville, TN last year when he shot a three-under par 210 score to finish in 18th place.
Tanner Ervin is the only sophomore in the Clemson lineup. The native of Mount Pleasant had a 73.33 stroke average for the year and has finished strong with four consecutive top 20 finishes, including a top 10 at the United States Collegiate. Duncan, Poole and Ervin all competed for the Tigers in last year’s regional.
Two freshmen will be in the lineup for the Tigers in the NCAA Regional for the first time since 1998 when current PGA Tour players Lucas Glover and John Engler helped Clemson to a second-place finish at the Melrose Course on Daufuskie Island, SC. Vince Hatfield and David May are a pair of freshmen who will be in the lineup as a pair for the third consecutive tournament.
Hatfield has a 74.00 stroke average for his five events this year. He was Clemson’s top golfer at Augusta State where he finished in seventh place with a 215 score. May owns the top two rounds of the year by a Clemson golfer with a pair of 65s. He is the first freshman in Clemson history to have two 65s in the same year. May has a pair of top 10 finishes, including a second-place at the Carpet Classic back in November. He recently finished ninth at the ACC Tournament with 211 score, including a second round 65.
Active Longest NCAA Golf Tournament Appearance Streaks
School SchoolsStreak Oklahoma State 1947-06 60 Wake Forest1967-06 40 Southern Cal 1971-06 36 Texas 1978-06 29 Oklahoma1981-06 26 Clemson 1982-06 25 Arizona State 1984-06 23 Georgia Tech1985-06 22
Longest Clemson Streaks NCAA Tournament Team Appearances
Sport SeasonsYrs $Golf 1982-06 25 $Baseball 1987-05 #19$Women’s Soccer 1994-05 12 Men’s Tennis 1979-89 11 Men’s Soccer1972-79 8 Women’s Basketball 1988-94 7 1996-02 7 Baseball1975-81 7
CENTRAL REGIONAL Sand Ridge Golf Club in Chardon, Ohio Hosted by the Cleveland State
Teams (seeded in the following order): 1. Oklahoma State 2. Georgia Tech 3. Texas A&M4. Clemson 5. Duke 6. Texas 7. Kentucky 8. Tulsa 9. Northwestern 10. Minnesota 11. Lamar 12. Kent State 13. Oklahoma 14. TCU 15. Purdue 16. SMU 17. Xavier 18. Texas-Arlington 19. Colorado 20. Missouri 21. Nebraska 22. Kansas State 23. Eastern Kentucky 24. Cleveland State 25. Siena 26. Princeton 27. St. Francis (Pa.)
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