May 16, 2002
Roswell, GA – Ben Hogan Award winner D.J. Trahan birdied his last three holes of the day and finished with a three-under-par 69 leading the Clemson golf team to a first-place standing after the first round of the NCAA East Regional at Settindown Creek Golf Club in Roswell, GA. Trahan also holds the individual lead by a stroke over three golfers, including Georgia Tech’s Matt Weibring.
The Tigers hold a five-shot team lead over ACC rival and number-one ranked Georgia Tech. Clemson shot a 286 score as a team, the only team in the 27-team field to record an under-par round. The 54-hole event continues with 18 holes on Friday and 18 on Saturday. The top 10 teams advance to the NCAA Championships at The Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University May 29-June 1.
Tennessee is third at 294, while North Carolina and Penn State are tied for fourth at 295. Trahan recorded his 23rd under par round of the season, tying the Clemson single season record also held by Charles Warren (1997-98). It was also his 14th round in the 60s this year, just one off the single season record of 15 set by Chris Patton in 1988-89. It was a wild ride for the junior from Inman, SC, who was presented the Ben Hogan Award as the top player in college golf this past Monday night in Fort Worth, TX. Trahan had just seven pars in his round, but had six birdies, an eagle, three bogeys and a double bogey. Playing the back nine first, Trahan had a stretch in which he had a birdie, eagle, double bogey and bogey on holes 15-18.
Trahan settled down on the front side, his second nine of the day and recorded four birdies and bogey. He finished with three birdies and eight total strokes for the last three holes. It was actually the second straight NCAA Regional Tournament round that he had finished with three straight birdies. He birdied his last three holes in the final round last year at the NCAA Regional in Williamsburg, VA.
Trahan received support from sophomore Gregg Jones, who fired a 71 and stands in a tie for fifth. The native of Florence had a disappointing bogey on his final hole, the ninth, but he had three birdies and a bogey on that front side to shoot a 34. It was his 14th under-par round of the year. Last year he was actually Clemson’s top golfer at the regional with a 210 score and he now has four consecutive under-par rounds in NCAA regional play.
Matt Hendrix and Ben Duncan contributed solid rounds of one-over par 73. Duncan, who has the third best scoring average on the Clemson team, had a double bogey on the 14th hole, his fifth of the day, then played the next 12 holes at two-under-par before finishing with a bogey on the ninth. Hendrix had consecutive bogeys on 14, 15 and 16, but did not let that get him down. The sophomore battled back with birdies on the second and fourth holes, then made pars the rest of the way.
Freshman Martin Catalioto had a five-over par 77 in his first career NCAA Tournament round. He had a double bogey on the first hole, his 10th of the day. His only birdie was on the par three eighth.
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