March 23, 2008
Clemson, SC-Anderson, SC native Phillip Mollica fired an opening round 69 to lead Clemson to a 285 team score and a third-place ranking after the first round of the Hootie Invitational at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Clemson is tied for third place with 10th ranked Florida in the tournament that includes 15 teams. Eight of the 15 teams are ranked in the top 25 in the nation.
Mollica posted his third round in the 60s this spring in firing the best score by a Clemson player in the opening round. He had a slow start with two bogeys within the first five holes, then scored an eagle on the par five sixth hole. He played the last 13 holes at four under par. All-American Kyle Stanley had an even par 71 to support Mollica. Stanley had two bogeys and two birdies. His birdies came on consecutive holes (7th and 8th). Sam Saunders had a solid 72 in the opening round. The sophomore had three bogeys and two birdies, including a birdie on the 17th hole.
David May had an opening round 73, including a birdie on the 18th hole. He was the only Clemson golfer to birdie the final hole. Tanner Ervin, a senior playing his home course, fired a 75 in the first round. He was three over after two holes, but played the last three holes at one under.
South Carolina has the team lead at 280, while Augusta State is sec ond at 284. Clemson and Florida are tied for third at 285. Auburn and Lamar are tied for fifth at 286. So the top six teams are separated by just six shots. Other ACC teams in the field include NC State (288), Virginia Tech (290), Wake Forest (291) and duke (294).
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