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May 13, 2024

Clemson In Second Place Near End of Second Round of NCAA Regional

Clemson, SC—Senior transfer Calahan Keever shot consecutive rounds of five under-par 65 on Monday to lead Clemson to a second-place standing near the end of the second round of the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at the Finley Golf Course on the campus of the University of North Carolina.
Clemson was one of four teams in the 13-team field who did not finish 36 holes on Monday.  The original schedule for the tournament called for 18 holes per day, Monday through Wednesday this week.  But inclement weather is in the forecast for Tuesday, so officials decided to have the field play as many holes as possible on Monday.
East Tennessee State leads the tournament at 21-under-par through two rounds.  Clemson stands at 18-under-par in second place with two players still to play three holes.  Three Clemson players, including Keever, completed 36 holes on Monday.
Top seed and host school North Carolina, the number-four ranked team in the nation, finished two rounds on Monday and is in third place at 13-under par, while Baylor, who also finished, is at 11-under and in fourth place.  Long Beach State and Georgia Tech are tied for fifth at 10-under.  They have also completed 36 holes.
The top five teams in the 13 team field after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA National Tournament in Carlsbad, California next week.
Keever’s day was extraordinary. The native of Greenville, SC and Eastside High School graduate set a Clemson record for 36-hole score in any NCAA Tournament with his 130 total.   He was just one shot off the Clemson record for the first 36 holes of any tournament (Kyle Cottam, 129 at Maui Jim Intercollegiate in September 2021).
Keever shot a 31 on the back nine, his first nine of each round.   He had four birdies, an eagle and just one bogey in his five-under-par 65 in the morning, then had seven birdies and two bogeys in his afternoon 65.
Keever, did shoot a 65 at the Thomas Sharkey Invitational in February, so his two rounds tied his Clemson career high.  The transfer from Anderson University is in first place entering the final round with his 130 score, one shot ahead of Austin Greaser of North Carolina, the #21 players in the nation, and Johnny Keefer of Baylor, who is ranked 62nd.
Alberto Dominguez and Andrew Swanson were the other two Clemson players who were able to finish 36 holes on Monday before darkness fell.  They are tied for 36th individually with scores of 142. Dominguez had rounds of 73 and 69, while Swanson had rounds of 71-71 on the par 70 course.
Jonathan Nielsen, Clemson’s top player in terms of stroke average this year, will have three holes left to play in his second round on Tuesday morning.  He had an opening round four-under par  66 and is one under par through 15 holes in is second round.  He stands in 12th place individually, second among Clemson golfers.
Sophomore Thomas Higgins, had an opening round 73, but is six under par through 15 holes on his second round.   He had one of the top highlights of the day when he made a 150-yard shot on the 482-yard par four fourth hole for an eagle, the fifth of his Clemson career.
Higgins needs to play the last three holes of his second round at one-under-par to break Bryson Nimmer’s Clemson NCAA Tournament record of 64.
Clemson is 13-under par as a team so far in the second round, on pace to shoot a 267 team score if Nielsen and Higgins play par golf the last two holes.   A 267 would break the Clemson school record for low NCAA Tournament round by six shots and break the school record for score vs. par in an NCAA Tournament round by two shots.
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