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Clemson Struggles in 3rd Round of NCAA Golf Tournament

Clemson Struggles in 3rd Round of NCAA Golf Tournament

May 31, 2002

Columbus, OH – Matt Hendrix fired an even par 71, but he was the only Clemson player to break 75, as Clemson slipped considerably in the NCAA men’s golf standings at the Scarlet Course at Columbus, OH. The Tigers shot a 14-over par 298 for the round, the worst round of the 15 teams that played in the morning. It was the second worst team round of the year for the Tigers, who had a 15-over par 303 at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA October 7.

At 3:00 PM Clemson stood in 14th place with a nine over par score of 861. Clemson stood 14th after the first round, then ranked in a tie for first with Georgia Tech after the second round. Now Larry Penley’s team is back at 14th. Even with the disappointing round, Clemson finds itself just seven shots off the lead heading into Saturday. Clemson made up 11 shots on leader Arizona after three rounds last year and finished second to Florida.

“The wheels fell off today, all four of them,” said head Coach Larry Penley. “We had trouble with the wind, but all the teams played in the same wind. There were some good scores out there today. It seemed whenever we played for the wind it did not take the ball and when we didn’t account for the wind, it made a difference.

“We started out all right on the front nine with a two over par team score. With the conditions we thought we were in good shape. But, we played as poorly as we can play on the back side.

“As bad as it seems right now, we are only seven shots out of first. With this wind and rough, anything can happen. We just have to refocus and get ready for tomorrow’s final round.”

Clemson was just two over par for the front nine and was tied for the lead with Georgia Tech. But, Clemson shot 12 over par on the back as a team. That was 18 shots worse than yesterday when Clemson was six under par on the back on the way to a team score of 277.

Every Clemson player struggled on the back with the exception of Hendrix, who had a consistent 71 after a 70 in the first round. He shot even par on both sides. He is the only Tiger to shoot par or better over the last two days. He stands at 218 heading into the final round. “I just tried to hit the ball low under the wind,” said Hendrix. “That was my approach and I was able to hold it together. Tomorrow we have to have five guys in the game. We will have to chose our opportunities as far as being aggressive, but overall we will have to be aggressive.

Junior D.J. Trahan was one under par through eight holes and just one shot out of the lead for the individual race in the tournament, then played the last 10 holes eight over to shoot a 78. His score did not count towards Clemson’s team score as his score was the high of the day among the Tigers. He was fourth in the individual race heading into today, but now stands two over par and is out of the race for the individual national championship.

Trahan had consecutive birdies on the third and fourth holes. His birdie on three was the result of a 60 foot birdie putt. He then two putted on a par five fourth for the birdie. He bogeyed the par five sixth, but came back with a birdie on the eighth to go one under. But, it was all up hill from there. He bogeyed the ninth hole to turn even when he drove ball 300 yards, but into the rough. He finished with a bogey on 16, a triple bogey on 17 and a bogey on 18. He hit his drive on the par 3 17th hole onto a street out of bounds.

Sophomore Gregg Jones, ranked 13th in the nation in the individual rankings coming into the tournament, shot a 75 and stands at even par 213 after three rounds. He is Clemson’s top scorer thus far. Martin Catalioto and Ben Duncan both shot 76s on Friday to have their score count towards Clemson’s team score.

Trahan stands at 215, two over par heading into the final round. Hendrix is at 218, Duncan at 221 and Catalioto at 222. Trahan heads into Saturday with 15 rounds in the 60s this year, tied for the Clemson single season record with Chris Patton (1988-89). He will have to have that kind of round tomorrow if Clemson is to make a serious run.

One of Clemson’s goal on Saturday will be a top 10 finish. Clemson has finished in the top 10 five years in a row, the longest streak by any Clemson sport since the men’s tennis team had seven straight top 10 finishes from 1980-86.

Clemson Scores Through Three Rounds

Gregg Jones 69-69-75 213 Even D.J. Trahan 71-66-78 215 +2 Matt Hendrix 77-70-71 218 +5 Ben Duncan 72-73-76 221 +8 Martin Catalioto 74-72-76 222 +9 Clemson 286-277-298