Clemson, S.C.—Jacob Bridgman fired a record-breaking eight-under-par 64 to lead Clemson to a six-shot team lead over Wake Forest after the first round of the Camp Creek Championship at Camp Creek Golf Club in Watersound, Fla. The tournament has 10 teams, all from the Atlantic Coast Conference.
It was the first round of the year for all 10 teams, as ACC teams did not compete in the fall due to the pandemic. As a result, this is the latest start to a Clemson season since the 1983-84 academic year, but the Jan. 17 date is the earliest start to the spring schedule for Larry Penley’s program.
Clemson finished with a 276 team total, 12-under-par and six shots better than Wake Forest’s 282. Duke is third at five-under-par 283 and Florida State, the host school, is fourth at 285.
Bridgeman’s 64 broke the school record for the first round of a season. The previous mark was a 65 by former All-American Matt Hendrix, who scored that at the Topy Cup in Japan on Sept. 3, 2002.
Bridgeman, who earned honorable mention All-America honors last year in the shortened season, had six birdies and an eagle and did not have a bogey. His six birdies included a 40-footer on the 11th hole, and the eagle was made on a 75-foot pitching wedge on the par five eighth hole. It was the only eagle of the day on the eighth hole among the 60 competitors.
“Jacob played great all day,” said Penley, who announced earlier this week that the 2021 spring would be his 38th and final season as Clemson head coach. “He hit all but two fairways and hit all 18 greens. It was fun to watch.”
“The longest par putt I had all day was on the 18th hole, a five-footer,” said Bridgeman, a junior on this year’s squad. “That was the only stressful par I had all day.”
Bridgeman, who won the Palmetto Intercollegiate at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, SC in the Tigers last tournament last March, tied his career-best with the 64, but it was his best round by two shots in terms of shots vs. par.
Bridgeman received considerable support from Kyle Cottam and Colby Patton as both had rounds of three-under-par 69 to rank sixth after 18 holes. Cottam birdied the first three holes, then played at even par the last 15 holes. He finished with five birdies and two bogeys overall. Patton had his score to five-under-par at one point. He finished with four birdies, an eagle and three bogeys.
William Nottingham, who is playing a fifth year with the Tigers by using the NCAA ruling last spring that did not charge any student-athlete with a year of eligibility due to the pandemic, shot 34 on the front, then had a 40 on the back to finish at two over par 74.
Turk Pettit, who is fourth in Clemson history in career stroke average, also shot 74. He made a bogey on two of his first three holes, then made 15 straight pars to close the round.
“We played well today, but we have room to improve,” said Penley of the team’s 276 team score, that was the lowest opening team round since the 2002-03 National Championship team shot a 272 in the first round of the year. “We had four 6s on par five holes today. When we clean that up we will win some golf tournaments.”
Clemson will start on the 10th hole on Monday morning at 10:50 am on the course that is near Destin, Florida.