Clemson, S.C.—Freshman Zack Gordon shot a two-under par 70 to lead the Clemson men’s golf team to a 289 team score and sixth-place ranking after the first round of the Puerto Rico Classic at the Rio Mar Country Club River Course on Sunday. Clemson’s one-over-par team score on the par 72 course is nine shots behind first place NC State.
The 15-team tournament opens the spring season for Larry Penley’s Tigers. The second round will be held Monday and the final round on Tuesday. Clemson is the two-time defending champion of the tournament.
NC State has the lead with a 280 score, followed by Georgia at 282 and Georgia Tech at 283. Ohio State is fourth at 284 and Oklahoma is fifth at 287, two shots in front of Clemson.
Clemson got off to a great start and was in the team lead by three shots at eight under par, seven holes into the round. But the Tigers had a rash of double bogeys on the back nine. All five Clemson players had at least one double or triple bogey on the day, and three Tigers had a pair or double bogeys.
Gordon’s round of 70 included six birdies and two double bogeys. He was five under par at one point in the round, but he had double bogeys on the par four 16thand 17th. Still it was just the second time this year he had the low score in a Clemson round.
Colby Patton, who finished seventh at this event last year, had an even-par 72 thanks to two birdies, one double bogey and 16 pars. The sophomore started with 12 consecutive birdies, then made two birdies. His double bogey came on his last hole of the day, the par four second.
Kyle Cottam had a one over par 73, but like his teammates, had some high scores coming in. The junior was three-under-par playing the 18th hole, his 14th hole of the day, but he made a double on the 18th and first holes to go from three-under to one over.
Bryson Nimmer, Clemson’s top golfer on the fall schedule with a 68.8 stroke average, made a triple bogey on the par four 12th hole to ruin his round. The senior from Bluffton, SC finished with a two over par 74. Turk Pettit, Clemson’s top golfer in each of the last two tournaments of the fall, shot a 77 on Sunday and was Clemson’s non-counter.
Live scoring is available on golfstat.com