Clemson, S.C. – Larry Penley’s Clemson men’s golf team opens its spring season at the Puerto Rico Classic at the Rio Mar River Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico on Sunday. It marks the 28th consecutive year Clemson has opened its spring season at this tournament. The 15 teams in the field will each play 18 holes a day, Sunday through Tuesday. Each day will have a shotgun start beginning at 8 a.m. Puerto Rico time.
The field includes five top 25 teams according to the latest Golfweek and Golf Coaches polls. The field includes number-one ranked Oklahoma (Coaches and Golfstat) and third-ranked Georgia Tech. Georgia is ranked 19th by Golfstat and 21st in the Golfweek poll. Clemson and Tennessee round out the list of top 25 teams. The field also includes Mississippi, host school Purdue, Alabama, NC State, Ohio State, Marquette, East Carolina, Iowa, College of Charleston and Maryland.
Clemson is ranked 17th in the latest Golfweek poll, 21st by the coaches and 24th by Golfstat. Clemson has won this tournament three times previously, including recent back-to-back victories in 2017 and 2018. Fifteen times Clemson has finished among the top three. The Tigers finished sixth of 15 teams last year.
Penley will take two sophomores, two juniors and a senior for his team lineup to start the spring. Jacob Bridgeman, a sophomore, had the best stroke average in the fall at 70.87. He has seven under-par rounds and all seven have been scores in the 60s. He is five–under-par for his 15 rounds. His best finish was a 10th place at the Nike Collegiate, but he has three top 20s already to his credit. He won the individual tournament at the Puerto Rico Classic last year.
Turk Pettit had a strong fall with a 71.00 stroke average for 15 rounds. The All-American had eight under-par rounds, including six in the 60s. His second place at the Maui Jim was the best individual finish by a Clemson player in the fall. He had a 12-under-par 198 for his 54 holes at the Maui Jim, including a career best 63 in the second round that was just one shot off the Clemson record.
The man who holds the record with a 62 at the Lonnie Poole Invitational three years ago, is William Nottingham. He also will be in the Clemson lineup in Puerto Rico after shooting a team best 63 at Boscobel Country Club in the final round of team qualifying for this tournament. In the fall, Nottingham had a 71.87 stroke average and had four rounds in the 60s. His best finish in the fall was 18th at the Maui Jim, helping Clemson to a third-place finish at the Scottsdale, Arizona course.
Kyle Cottam had Clemson’s third best stroke average in the fall at 71.60 and he also will be in Penley’s lineup to open the spring. Cottam started the year in grand fashion with a third place as an individual at the Carpet Classic. He shot 207 in the final tournament of the fall at Ka’anapali to record a top 25.
Zack Gordon also will be in Clemson’s lineup in Puerto Rico. The sophomore had the best performance of his rookie year in Puerto Rico as he finished seventh with a 212 total after consistent rounds of 70-71-71. He was Clemson’s second best player behind Bryson Nimmer, who finished with co-medalist honors.
Junior Colby Patton is not making the trip to Puerto Rico as he recovers from a rib injury. Freshmen Carter Pendley and Drayton Stewart will compete in the Puerto Rico Classic individual tournament. All scoring will be available on golfstat.com.