Salem, SC—Sophomore Andrew Swanson fired a school record tying seven-under-par 65 on Tuesday to lead Clemson to a 10-under-par 278 team score and a seventh-place standing after two rounds of the NCAA Salem Regional of the NCAA Golf Tournament. The final round of the 54-hole tournament will be held on Wednesday at the Cliffs at Keowee Falls in Salem, SC.
The top five teams will advance to the NCAA National Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona, May 26-31. Clemson is in seventh place with a 560 team score, seven shots behind fifth-place Northern Illinois.
“We got off to a good start today and made some birdies,” said head Coach Jordan Byrd of his team that played the front nine in nine-under-par as a team. “ We are doing some good things and we have a chance tomorrow.
“Andrew is keeping us in the game. He has the best attitude I have seen. He never gets down and comes back strong. He has been tremendous.”
Arkansas, ranked 35th in the nation by Golfstat coming into the NCAA Tournament, stands in first place at 39-under-par 537 after two rounds. They have three of the top five players in the tournament so far, as Segundo Pinto is tied for second at 132 and Will Gibson is fifth at 134.
Georgia Tech, who shot a 22-under-par score of 266 on Tuesday, is in second place at 551. Second ranked North Carolina and New Mexico are tied for third at 551 and Northern Illinois holds the fifth spot at 553. Georgia Southern is sixth at 558 and Clemson is seventh a 560. Fourteenth ranked Texas A&M is tied for eighth with San Diego State at 564.
Swanson is tied for second with Pinto in second place after rounds of 67 and 65. His seven under par 65 on Tuesday included eight birdies and an eagle. The nine holes at birdie or better are the most by a Clemson golfer in a single round this year. Swanson’s 65 tied for the best in Clemson history by a Clemson golfer in an NCAA Regional round and the best since Turk Pettit shot a 65 on May 15, 2018 at the Traditions club in Bryan, Texas. It also tied the record for strokes under par in an NCAA regional round.
Swanson had nine hole scores of 33-32 and he had his eagle on the final hole when he hit his second shot on the par five hole to five feet from the cup. It was his fifth eagle of the year, most on the team and tied for the seventh most in a season in Clemson history. The native of Bluffton, SC played in the same pairing with Sam Bennett of Texas A&M, who gained national acclaim for his 16th place finish at The Masters. Swanson shot six shots better than Bennett on Tuesday.
Swanson, who has had rounds of 67 and 65, is in second place entering the final round with a 132 total. He is one shot behind Ryan Burnett of North Carolina who has had rounds of 63 and 68 for 131 total.
Swanson leads the field of 75 golfer in par five scoring with a -8 figure. The rest of the Clemson team is -4 on par five holes through two rounds. He is also -5 on par four holes, fourth best in the tournament.
In addition to Swanson’s second place standing, sophomore Kian Rose stands in 13th place with a 138 total after two rounds. The native of South Africa had an opening round 68 on Monday and a 70 in the second round on Tuesday. Rose had six birdies and four bogeys on Tuesday when he had three birdies over his last four holes. He has 12 birdies through two rounds, second to Swanson’s 15 among Tigers.
Clemson’s second best player on Tuesday was Jonathan Nielsen who had a 69. He stands at even-par 144 after 36 holes. Nielsen had five birdies and two bogeys on Tuesday when he shot a three-under par 33 on the front nine.
Senior Zack Gordon played the first 14 holes in two-under-par but finished with a two-over-par 74 on Tuesday. Freshman Thomas Higgins also got off to a good start and was two-under-par through 10, but he finished with a 75.
Clemson with play with San Diego State and Texas AM in the final round on Wednesday. For the third straight day Clemson will begin play off the first tee at 8:55 a.m. Scoring will be available on golfstat.com.