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May 24, 2024

Clemson Tied for 25th after First Round of NCAA Golf Tournament

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Senior Jonathan Nielsen shot a two-over-par round of 74 on Friday to lead Clemson to a 306 team score and a tie for 26th after the first round of the NCAA National Men’s Golf Tournament at the Omni LaCosta Resort in Carlsbad, California.   It marked the 17th time this year Nielsen had been Clemson’s top golfer in a round.
The native of Denmark had two birdies and four bogeys during the round on the par 72 course that played to 7,538 yards, the longest course Clemson has played in an NCAA National Tournament since 2008.
It was a strong performance for Nielsen who scored 2.3 strokes under the 76.3 average for the 156 players in the field.
The Tigers played the back nine, their first nine of the day, in 12-over-par, then played the front nine in six over par to give Jordan Byrd’s team some momentum entering Saturday’s second round.   Clemson is 11 shots above the 15-team cutline that will be in play after Sunday’s third round.
Andrew Swanson had a team best four birdies in shooting a three over par 75 in support of Nielsen.  The native of Bluffton, SC who won the Elite 90 Award for having the top career GPA among the 156 players in the field, had a triple bogey on the par four 14th hole that measured 517 yards, a hole many players struggled with on Friday.
Conditions were difficult throughout the day as golfers played in a consistent mist with winds up.   Swanson had a double bogey on the ninth hole, his last hole of the day, or he would have been Clemson’s top golfer for the first round.
Calahan Keever, Clemson’s top player at the Chapel Hill Regional with a 200 score for 54 holes, the best regional performance in Clemson history, had a five-over-par 77 on Friday.  He had a pair of birdies to highlight his round.
Thomas Higgins had a 43 on the back nine, his first nine of the day, but rebounded with a one over par 37 on the front to end is round.  Alberto Dominguez was Clemson’s non counter with a  82.
All 30 team will play a second round of stroke play on Saturday and a third round on Sunday.  After 54 holes the field will be cut to the top 15 teams for a fourth round on Monday.
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