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May 03, 2023

Clemson Selected to NCAA Golf Tournament for 41st Straight Tournament

Program Will Play Host to Regional for First Time

Clemson, SC—Clemson was selected to the 2023 NCAA men’s golf tournament for the 41st straight time and will serve as host of the event for the first time according to an announcement by the NCAA Men’s Golf Committee on the Golf Channel on Wednesday afternoon. The streak of 41 consecutive invitations is a record for any sport in Clemson history.

The 54-hole, three-day tournament will begin on Monday, May 15 and conclude on Wednesday, May 17.  It is one of six regional tournaments being held all over the country on these same  three days, weather permitting.

Clemson is the #9 seed in the Salem Regional and will play host to the event at the Cliff’s at Keowee Falls Course in Salem SC.  This will be just the third time Clemson has played in an NCAA Regional tournament in the state of South Carolina.  It also happened in 1989 at Long Bay Golf Club in Myrtle Beach, and in 1998 at the Melrose Course on Daufuskie Island.

Clemson was suppose to play host to the NCAA Regional at this same facility in 2020, but the entire NCAA Tournament was cancelled due to COVID.

Other teams in the Salem Regional include #1 seed North Carolina, who is ranked second in the nation by Golfstat and third by Golfweek,  #2 seed Georgia Tech, who won the ACC Championship two weeks ago, #3 seed Texas A&M,  #4 seed San Diego State, the Mountain West Champion,  #5 Georgia Southern #6 Arkansas, #7 Purdue, #8  New Mexico, #10 Furman, #11 Middle Tennessee State, #12 Northern Illinois, #13 Long Island University the Northeast Conference Champion, and #14 Longwood, who won the Big South this year.

The top players in the field include David Ford of North Carolina, who is ranked fourth in the nation by Golfweek, Christo Lamprecht of Georgia Tech, who is ranked #6 by Golfweek,  Ben Carr of Georgia Tech, ranked #16 by Golfstat, Ross Steelman of Georgia Tech, ranked #9 by Golfweek, and Herman Wibe Sekne   of Purdue, who is ranked 19th by Golfweek.

As stated previously, this is Clemson’s 41st consecutive tournament appearance, a streak that dates to and includes 1982.  It is Clemson’s 43rd tournament appearance overall.  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 33 tournaments, including six of the last seven.  Clemson has made the national tournament 33 times overall dating to a 12th place finish at Ohio State in 1980.

Clemson has a young team this year led by sophomore Andrew Swanson, who has a 71.53 stroke average. He has  12 under-par rounds, including seven rounds in the 60s.  He won the Ka’anapali Classic  in October with a Clemson record score of 18-under par (195). He also finished third at the Seahawk Invitational and was Clemson’s top player at the ACC Tournament with a 14th place finish. It was the fifth time this year he has been Clemson’s best player at a tournament.

Jonathan Nielsen, a junior transfer who was a Division II All-American last year, has the second-best average on the team at 72.00.  He has a team best 17 rounds at par or better  and has five top 25 finishes, including a ninth place at The Blessings back in the fall.

Kian Rose, a sophomore from South Africa, has a 72.44 stroke average, third best on the team.  He is one of two current Tigers who has NCAA Tournament experience.  He has six rounds in the 60s and 12 under-par rounds for the year. Rose has a 73.22 career stroke average and this will be his 20th career tournament.

Zack Gordon is the most experience Clemson golfer, as this will be his 42 career event.  The fifth year senior from Gaffney has a 73.37 stroke average this year and has nine rounds at par or better.  He was Clemson’s third best golfer at the ACC Tournament with a four-over-par score of 220.

Thomas Higgins is a freshman from Ireland who has played in five events this year and holds a 73.67 average.  Alberto Dominquez, another transfer, has a 73.94 stroke average for six tournaments.

Live scoring will be available on  Admission to the tournament is free of charge.  Clemson will play its first round with Purdue and New Mexico.