May 19, 2011
CLEMSON, SC – Jacob Burger, Crawford Reeves and Thomas Bradshaw all fired even par scores of 72 on Thursday to lead Clemson to a one-over par round of 289 and a fifth-place standing after the first round of the NCAA South Central Region in Erie, Colorado.
Clemson was one of six teams to finish its round before play was halted by rain. We will send an update of Clemson’s standing if play resumes tonight.
Thirteen teams are in the regional field and those teams are fighting to reach the NCAA Championships in two weeks with a fifth-place or better finish. Thus, Clemson is on the cutline at the moment. The regional is being played at Colorado National Golf Club in Erie, CO, the home of the Colorado Buffalos men’s and women’s programs. The course is in just its second year of play and this is the first NCAA event played at the facility.
The course is 7,758 yards in length and includes a par five hole that is 696 yards in length (15th). It is the longest course a Clemson team has played on in any tournament.
The first round was delayed 90 minutes in the morning due to Wednesday night rains and the temperature was just below 40 degrees when the Tigers teed off at 9:50 AM Mountain time.
Oklahoma State had the top round of the day with a 12-under par 276 score. The number-one ranked Cowboys will play host to the NCAA Championships May 31 to June 5. It is the same Oklahoma State course (Karsten Creek) that Clemson won the NCAA Championship in 2003.
Auburn is in second place with an eight-under-par team score of 280, while Arizona State is third at six-under 282. Colorado State is at five-under, followed by the Tigers at one over par. Teams ranked fifth through 10th are separated by just four shots, so it is destined to be quite a battle for the precious five spots in the national tournament on Saturday.
Oklahoma State (8), Clemson (7) and Arizona State (6), are three of the top four schools in NCAA history in producing NCAA Regional Championships. Arizona also has six to rank in a tie for third place in the history of college golf.
It was a typical round for the Clemson team in that the Tigers four counting scores were separated by just one shot. Entering the tournament, Clemson’s five golfers were separated by just 0.91 strokes per round over the course of the season. Burger continued his consistent play on Thursday with his even par 72. It was his seven even par round of the year, almost as many as all the other Tigers combined. He had three birdies and three bogeys in recording his 13th consecutive round of 74 or better. It was the 27th time in 28 rounds that his score has counted towards Clemson’s team score.
Reeves continued his fine play and has an average of 71.5 for his last 10 rounds. Reeves had birdies on the second and 17th holes and just two bogeys in firing another clean round that counted towards Clemson’s team score.
Freshman Thomas Bradshaw had a wild ride, but his score counted in his first career NCAA tournament round. The native of Columbia, SC got off to a great start with birdies on two of his first three holes. He hit a rough spot when he made bogey on the 16th and 18th holes, but still finished with an even par score of 72.
Corbin Mills, who entered the tournament as Clemson’s leader in stroke average at 73.19, shot his average with a one over par 73. The sophomore had four birdies and five bogeys, including a bogey five on his final hole, the ninth hole on the course.
McCuen Elmore was Clemson’s non-counter with a five over par 77. He had a chance to count with a good finish, but he had a bogey and a double bogey on his last two holes.
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