Feb. 22, 2007
Clemson, SC – Clemson’s 10th ranked golf team will open its spring season Sunday, February 25th at the 2007 Puerto Rico Classic. Clemson will be one of 18 teams in the field that will include top 20 teams from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas and Stanford.
The 18 teams will play 18 holes a day, Sunday through Tuesday on the par 72 6,945-yard River Course at Rio Mar Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.
Clemson will bring a young squad to Puerto Rico, as Larry Penley’s lineup will feature three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior. Three freshmen were Clemson’s top three stroke average players in the fall and all are ranked in the top 50 in the nation in the Sagarin individual college golf rankings.
Kyle Stanley led the way with a 71.00 average, including medallist honors at Clemson’s last tournament of the Fall, the Aloha Purdue Collegiate in Kauai, Hawaii. Stanley is a candidate for the Ben Hogan Award, one of just three ACC players on the list. He won the Sahalee Players Championship and the Southern Amateur last summer.
Ben Martin, a red-shirt freshman from Greenwood, will also be in the lineup in Puerto Rico. He had a 72.22 stroke average in the fall when he played in three of the four stroke play events. He had a 64 in the second round at the Carpet Capital Classic in Dalton, GA, just one shot off the Clemson single round record.
Sam Saunders, like Stanley a first-year freshman, will also be in the Clemson lineup. Saunders joins Stanley and Martin in the Sagarin top 50 college golf rankings so far this year. He had a 72.67 stroke average in the fall for his two events. He had a top 10 finish at Isleworth in his first college tournament. All six of his fall rounds were at 75 or better.
David May and Tanner Ervin are the two veterans of the Clemson lineup. May played in 11 of the 12 events last year and helped the Tigers to a #7 national finish at the NCAA Tournament with a #32 individual finish, the best by a Clemson first year freshman since D.J. Trahan finished eighth in 2000. Ervin is a junior from Mount Pleasant, SC who had a 74.44 stroke average in the fall. He improved by 3.76 strokes per round last year in comparison to his freshman year, the second best single season improvement in Clemson history.
Clemson is ranked 10th in the nation in the most recent Golf World poll announced on February 21 by the Golf Coaches Assocation. Florida is first, followed by Stanford, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Georgia, Coastal Carolina, UCLA, Southern Cal, UNLV and the Tigers. Texas A&M is 11th followed by North Carolina, BYU, East Tennessee State and Arizona State. Georgia Tech is 16th.
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