March 13, 2009
Clemson, SC–Clemson junior Ben Martin fired a five under par 67 on Friday to lead Clemson to a 283 team score and the lead after the first round of the Southern Highlands Intercollegiate in Las Vegas, NV. Clemson has a two shot lead over host school UNLV and a four shot margin over Arizona. The event is being played on the par 72 Southern Highlands Course in Las Vegas. Clemson has never won this tournament in 19 previous meetings.
Martin has put together outstanding consecutive rounds, as he had a 66 in the final round of the Puerto Rico Classic two weeks ago. He is 15 under par for four rounds this spring. The native of Greenwood had six birdies and one bogey in his efficient round on Friday. He had birdies on six of nine holes at one stretch.
Phillip Mollica and Kyle Stanley provided support for Martin with under par rounds. Mollica shot a three under par 69, a round that included six birdies and three bogeys. Like Martin, Mollica had a stretch in which he had six birdies in nine holes, but he closed with consecutive bogeys. Stanley finished strong with three birdies over his last five holes to finish with a one under 71.
David May had a four over par 76. He had a pair of double bogeys that ruined an otherwise solid round. Sam Saunders had an 83 and his score did not count towards the team score.
It was an impressive performance for Larry Penley’s Tigers, as the field includes 10 top 20 teams in the 15-team field. Clemson beat top ranked Georgia by 20 shots on Friday, beat second ranked Southern Cal for 12 shots and third ranked Oklahoma State by eight shots.
The tourney continues with the second round on Saturday.
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