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May 13, 2024

Clemson Opens Play Monday at NCAA Chapel Hill Regional

Clemson, SC—Jordan Byrd’s Clemson men’s golf team  opens play at  the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at the Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, SC on Monday morning.   The Tigers will play with the teams from Michigan State and Ball State May 13-15 on the par 70 course that measures 7084 yards All 13 teams in the field will play 18 holes a day Monday through Wednesday.

The top five teams after Wednesday’s third round will advance to the national championship tournament, May 24-29 at the Omni LaCosta Resort and Spa  in Carlsbad, California.

This marks the 42nd consecutive NCAA tournament Clemson has been chosen, the longest streak in any sport in Clemson history.  Clemson has been selected every year there has been an NCAA tournament since 1982.  There was no tournament in 2020 due to COVID19.

Clemson players will start play on the 10th tee at 8:55 a.m. on Monday with Callahan Keever the first Tiger to play.   Jonathan Nielsen is the last Tiger off the 10th tee with a 9:39 a.m. start.  For Clemson fans wishing to attend the tournament the address  500 Finley Golf Course Road, Chapel HIll, SC 27514.

The 13-team field in Chapel Hill includes #1 seed North Carolina, the #4 ranked team in the nation, second-seeded Alabama, ranked ninth overall, and third-seed Georgia Tech, ranked 17th in the nation.   East Tennessee State is seeded fourth and ranked 21st, giving the regional four of the top 25 teams in the nation.

Other teams in the Chapel Hill Regional include fifth seeded Northwestern, (6) Baylor, (7) Virginia Commonwealth, (8) Loyola Marymount, (9) Long Beach State, (10) Clemson, (11) Michigan State, (12) Ball State and (13) Howard.

The regional format of the NCAA Tournament began in 1989 and Clemson has advanced to the National Championship tournament from the regional 25 of the previous 34 tournaments, including six of the last eight.  Clemson has made the national tournament 33 times overall dating to a 12th-place finish at Ohio State in 1980.

Clemson finished tied for fifth out of 14 teams at the NCAA Regional that Clemson hosted in Salem, SC last year.  Clemson lost in a one-hole playoff to Texas A&M for the last spot in the national tournament.

The Tigers are led by senior Jonathan Nielsen, who has a 71.16 stroke average for the year in 31 rounds.  He has 12 rounds in the 60s and 17 under-par rounds.  Five times he has had a top 10 finish, with all five coming with top 8 finishes.

Andrew Swanson has a 72.68 average with two top 10s and two top 10 finishes, while Thomas Hiiggins has a 72.74 average with two top 10s.  Alberto Dominguez has a 72.85 average and Calahan Keever has a 73.00 average.  Swanson, Nielsen and Higgins will all be playing in their second NCAA Tournament.