Clemson, S.C.-Led by the nation’s number-one ranked player Jacob Bridgeman, Clemson will begin play at the Kiawah Invitational on Sunday. The third-ranked Tigers are one of 16 teams in the field that includes 12 teams from the ACC, Big 10 and SEC. College of Charleston is the host school for the tournament that will be held at Oak Point Golf Club on Kiawah Island.
Clemson finished third at the Camp Creek Seminole Invitational three weeks ago to open the season. Bridgeman won the tournament by five shots and has vaulted into the top individual ranking in the nation according to the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Bridgeman had rounds of 64-66-71 in posting a 15-under par score of 201. The five-shot victory tied for the second largest victory margin by a Clemson golfer in a 54-hole event. He was bogey free in each of his first two rounds.
Head Coach Larry Penley will keep the same lineup he used in the opening tournament when the Tigers finished third in an all ACC field of 10 teams. In addition to Bridgeman, the Tigers will include Turk Pettit, Colby Patton, William Nottingham and Kyle Cottam. Zack Gordon and Carter Pendley will play as individuals.
Pettit opened his final season with the Tigers with a ninth-place finish at the tournament hosted by Florida State. The 90th ranked player in the nation by Golfweek, had a 67 in the final round and now has 27 career rounds in the 60s in his Clemson career. His 71.45 stroke average for his career is in the top five in school history.
Colby Patton, ranked 91st in the nation by Golfweek, also finished ninth at the Camp Creek Seminole after rounds of 69-74-71 for a 214 total. This will be Patton’s 24th career tournament. He has a 73.19 stroke average in the previous 23.
Nottingham will be playing his 40th career tournament as a Tiger when he tees it up on Kiawah Island. The native of Kingsport, Tenn. finished 34th in the opening tournament with a 221 total. Nottingham has 15 career rounds in the 60s, including a 62 at a tournament in Raleigh, NC his freshman year, still the lowest single round in Clemson history.
Cottam finished 44th in the season opener and has a 72.65 career stroke average entering this tournament. He and Bridgeman have eight career eagles to tie for the most among active Clemson player. Cottam needs 15 birdies to reach 300 for his career.
Gordon finished 34th at the Camp Creek Seminole as an individual, while Pendley will be playing in his first tournament of the year.
Joining Clemson from the ACC in the field are NC State and Wake Forest, while SEC teams include Kentucky and Mississippi State. Big Ten schools in the field include Ohio State, Michigan, Purdue, Wisconsin, Iowa, Rutgers and Maryland. Other schools include East Tennessee State, host College of Charleston, East Carolina and UNC-Wilmington.
Oak Point Golf Club is a par 72 layout that has five par-five holes. It was voted the top golf course in Charleston by the Charleston Golf Course Owners Association in 2019. It will be Clemson’s first appearance at this course and first appearance at this tournament. Clemson did win a tournament hosted by the College of Charleston at a different course in April of 1975.