Feb. 25, 2002
Rio Mar, Puerto Rico – Ben Duncan fired a career best 68 to lead third-ranked Clemson to a 279 team score and a second-place standing after the first round of the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The 15-team event is being played on the par 72, 6945-yard River Course. It is the first event of the spring schedule for Larry Penley’s Tigers.
Duncan shot a 32 on the first nine and finished with a 36 on the back for his round of 68. His previous best round this year was a 72 at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. He had a 69 last year for his previous career best. Duncan stands in second place after the first round, trailing only Kris Mikkelsen of Georgia Tech, who shot a 67. Duncan was the only golfer to shoot a 32 on the front side.
Duncan was one of four Tigers to score under-par rounds on Sunday, the first round of the 54-hole event that will conclude on Tuesday. Gregg Jones, a sophomore who is second on the Clemson team in scoring average this year, had a 69 in the first round, including a 33 on the front side. D.J. Trahan, the number-one player in the nation entering the event, stands 14th individually after an opening round 71. It was the 18th straight round of 72 or better for Trahan.
Matt Hendrix, a red-shirt sophomore, also had a 71. His score counted towards the Clemson team score for the 15th time in 16 team rounds this year. Freshman Jack Ferguson shot a 77 and his score did not count towards the team score.
Georgia Tech fired a 13-under-par 275 in the first round and has a four-stroke lead over Clemson. The Tigers are second at 279, while Texas and Colorado are tied for third at 279. Defending national champion Florida shot a 293, 14 shots worse than the Tigers. Purdue, the school playing host to the event, and, Georgia, the national champion three years ago, also shot 293.
Minnesota is eighth, followed by Oklahoma and East Tennessee State at 295. Duke is 11th at 296, Northwestern and Virginia are tied for 12th at 299. NC State is 14th at 303 and Kent State is 15th at 308.
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