May 15, 2000
CLEMSON, S.C. – Clemson will compete in the NCAA Eastern Regional at Glenmaura National Golf Club in Moosic, PA May 18-20. The host of the event will be Temple University. This is the 12th NCAA East Regional, as the NCAA went to the regional format for college golf in 1989. Clemson has played in every event. The Tigers won the East Regional three times, all in consecutive years, 1993-94-95. Clemson is the only school to win three straight NCAA Regional titles.
Clemson enters the event coming off an ACC Tournament title, April 21-23 at The Old North State Club in New London, NC. The Tigers won by four shots over #1 ranked Georgia Tech. It was Clemson’s third ACC Tournament title in the last four years, and the 44th overall tournament championship for Larry Penley’s Tigers.
The 27-team East Regional is one of three regionals in the NCAA Tournament. The overall field includes 81 teams. At press time, it was no known how many teams from the East Regional would make the national field, but the national tournament at Auburn May 31 to June 3 will have 30 total teams drawn from the three regional sites. The East Regional might be the toughest of the three regionals as nine of the top 20 teams in the latest Sagarin computer rankings are in that field.
Clemson will bring a veteran team to the NCAA East Regional. Four of the five Tigers took part in the NCAA East Regional and the national even last year. Still, Clemson will have just one senior in its lineup, All-American Jonathan Byrd. Byrd will be playing in his seventh NCAA tournament (regional or national) in his Clemson career. Lucus Glover and John Engler will be playing in their fifth event, while Jani Saari will be in his third.
Clemson’s Tentative Lineup for the ACC Tournament
(Note: Overall includes NCAA Regional play)
Clemson’s NCAA East Regional History
Tigers Have Nine Straight Under-par Tournaments Clemson has had nine consecutive tournaments under par, an all-time school record. In fact, the nine under-par tournaments is already a record for under-par tournaments in a season and there are still two events left on the 12-tournament schedule. Clemson has been under par in every tournament except the first event of the year when Clemson shot an 890, 26-over-par at The Ridges in Johnson City, TN.
Over the last eight events Clemson has finished first just twice, but has four second place finishes. All four of those events were high profile fields that included at least eight top 20 teams. Clemson finished second at the US Collegiate April 7-9 and that 12-team field included 10 top 15 teams.
This Clemson team is ahead of the pace of the 1997-98 Clemson team in terms of team strokes versus par for the year and stroke average. It needs just five individual rounds in the 60s and three under-par team rounds to break records in those categories.
Here is a list of records in range for this team:
Byrd Named All-ACC for Fourth Straight Year Clemson senior Jonathan Byrd was chosen first-team All-ACC in 2000, the fourth straight year he has been named first-team All-ACC. Byrd became the first Clemson player and sixth player in ACC history to be named first-team four times. The other players who have accomplished this feat are Gary Hallberg of Wake Forest (1977-80), Robert Wrenn of Wake Forest (1978-81), Billy Andrade of Wake Forest (1983-86), David Duval of Georgia Tech (1990-93) and classmate Matt Kuchar of Georgia Tech (1997-00).
Byrd is also just the 14th athlete in Clemson history to be four-time first-team All-ACC in any sport.
Clemson’s Four-time First-team All-ACC Selections
Four Tigers in Top 20 of MasterCard Rankings For the seventh straight week, Clemson is the only school in the nation with four players ranked among the top 20 players in the nation according to the MasterCard rankings. Clemson’s top four players, who all have stroke averages under 72.0 for the years, are rated somewhere between 6th and 19th in the country.
Jonathan Byrd is 16th. Freshman D.J. Trahan is ranked 19th overall, but first among freshmen or sophomores, nationally.
As you can see, all four golfers are also highly ranked in the other major golf rankings.
Clemson in 2000 National College Golf Rankings (As of May 10, 2000)
MasterCard’s Top 20 Players
Penley Has won 44 Tournaments Clemson has won 44 tournaments under Head Coach Larry Penley, including two this season. The Tigers won the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in Birmingham in the fall and the ACC Tournament in the Spring. Clemson also has four second place finishes this year. The list of 44 tournament championships includes three NCAA East Regional Championships.
Penley has taken Clemson to the NCAA tournament every year he has been the coach of the Tigers, 17 in a row dating to 1984. In fact, he has taken Clemson to the championship round every year. Only one other Division I coach, Mike Holder at Oklahoma State, can also make that claim.
Clemson vs. All-Competition in 1999-00 Clemson has competed against 40 different schools in 10 tournaments this year. Only three schools, Georgia Tech (2-5), Oklahoma (0-1) and Texas (1-2), have a winning record against Clemson. Only one school, Georgia Tech (+26) has a winning stroke margin against the Tigers. Clemson has an overall record of 110-20-3 against its 40 competitors, a .840 winning percentage. Only four of 67 opponents had a winning record against Clemson in 1998-99.
Last Year at the NCAA Regional Clemson Qualified for NCAA Nationals in PlayoffMay 21, 1999
Barrington, RI–Jonathan Byrd, John Engler, Jani Saari all posted two-putt pars, allowing Clemson to defeat Mississippi State in a playoff and qualify for the NCAA National golf championships. It is the 18th consecutive year Clemson has qualified for the National tournament, but Saturday was the closest Clemson has come to missing the cut. The tournament was played at Rhode Island Country club in Barrington, RI.
Officially, the Tigers finished 11th in the 23 team field. The top 11 teams qualify for the National tournament. Clemson, ranked second in the tournament heading into the final round, had a team round of 303 on Saturday, its second worst single day total of the year.
The Tigers actually finished in a tie for 10th place with Augusta College and Mississippi State at 876 after regulation play. Thus a playoff was required with two of the three teams moving on to the nationals. All five players on each team played a different hole simultaneously.
Augusta State had a team score of one under par, Clemson was even and Mississippi State was three-over par. That allowed Augusta State to claim the number-10 spot, and Clemson the number-11 spot.
Clemson had struggled all day with the 303 score. No Tiger was within two strokes of par. Jonathan Byrd and Jani Saari had a 77.
Augusta State got in to the playoff with a 283 on Saturday, while Mississippi State had a 285. Thus, Clemson won the playoff against a Mississippi State team that had scored 18 strokes better than the Tigers during the 18-hole round earlier in the day.
Clemson had finished its round at 1:15 PM and had a five-hour wait to see if could even make a playoff. South Alabama was eight over par on its last three holes and North Florida was 10 over for their last nine, allowing Clemson to get into the playoff.
“We practiced on the putting green until about 4:00 PM, then we got in the van and went to a nearby public beach,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “We needed to clear our minds and prepare for the playoff. It was actually Michael Hoey’s idea. We got off by ourself and got some fresh air for about an hour, then came back to the course.” Mississippi State, the team Clemson defeated in the playoff, is coached by former Clemson All-American Nicky Goetze, who started four years for Penley (1990-93).
Byrd Sets Career Record for Under-Par Rounds Jonathan Byrd became Clemson’s all-time career leader in under-par rounds when he had three straight under-par scores at the Chris Schenkel Invitational March 25-26. Byrd’s second under-par round of the tournament, a one-under 71 in the second round on Saturday, was his 54th as a Clemson Tiger, breaking the record of 53 held by Kevin Johnson between 1985-89.
Byrd had three more at the US Collegiate, giving him a streak of seven straight under-par rounds. He now has 59 entering the NCAA Tournament. He has achieved all those under par rounds in 49 career tournaments and 148 total rounds. Obviously, the NCAA East Regional will be his 50th career tournament as a Clemson Tiger.
Byrd tied another Clemson career record at the US Collegiate in Mexico. He now has 59 rounds under par and 13 at par, giving him 71 for his career at par or better, one better than the total Chris Patton had between 1986-90. Byrd has 21 rounds at par or better this year, 16 under-par and five at par. The Clemson record for rounds at par or better in a season is 26 by Charles Warren in 1997-98. John Engler also have 21 rounds at par or better.
It is also interesting to note that current juniors John Engler and Lucas Glover are ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, in Clemson history in rounds under par. Engler stands at 42 under-par rounds for his career, including all three in the ACC Tournament, while Glover is close behind with 38. With this career ranking it is easy to see why Engler, Glover and Byrd rank 1-2-3 in career stroke average at Clemson.
Clemson Career Leaders Rounds Under Par
Clemson Career Leaders in Rounds at Par or better
Four Tigers under 72 average for the year Clemson’s top four golfers all have stroke averages under 72.0 for the academic year. John Engler is second with a 71.30 for the year. He has been -14 for his last three events, including a 210 in finishing second at the ACC tournament. D.J. Trahan is fourth on the team, but among the best in the nation with a 71.79 figure. He is the highest ranked freshman or sophomore in the nation according to the latest MasterCard rankings.
Trahan National Player of the Month Featured in Sports Illustrated
Princeton, N.J. – Clemson University freshman D.J. Trahan (Inman, South Carolina) was named the Rolex College Golfers of the Month for March, after both won individual titles at Rolex Collegiate Tour events last month.
Trahan won the Las Vegas Intercollegiate, his first Rolex Collegiate Tour victory of the season, after a playoff with Matt Brost of Texas. Trahan fired a nine-under par 207 (73-68-66) while helping to lead Clemson to a sixth-place finish.
Trahan, who was named the Golf World Collegiate Player of the Week for the week of March 17th, also tied for 18th place at the Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational, where he shot 72-70-73 (215, -1) while helping the Tigers to a second place finish. Ranked No. 15 in the latest edition of the MasterCard Collegiate Golf Rankings, Trahan finished the month with a stroke average of 70.33 (six rounds).
Trahan will also be featured in Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd section on April 17th. The Rolex College Golfer of the Month award is voted on by members of the College Golf Foundation’s Golfer of the Month Committee. The award is based primarily on results from Rolex Collegiate Tour events, plus conference championships, NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships. Each winner will receive a certificate from the College Golf Foundation in recognition of this honor.
Glover Had Sensational Fall of 1999 Lucas Glover had the greatest fall season in Clemson history when he had a 70.20 scoring average for 15 rounds in five tournaments this past fall. Glover was 24-under-par for the five tournaments, the best combined score vs. par in a fall season in the sports history. Glover had 10 under par rounds and two more at par.
The native of Greenville who is a two-time defending South Carolina Amateur Champion, had four straight top six finishes to end the fall, including a second-place at the Golf World at Palmetto Dunes. He was an incredible 11-under-par for the 54 holes, and the 205 score tied a Clemson record for lowest 54-hole score in a team event. He was under par for his last seven rounds and shot par of better in each of his last 12 rounds of the fall.
The fantastic fall elevated Glover to a number-six national ranking in the Sagarin individual rankings entering the spring season. He is also now 18th on the world wide US Amateur list according to Golfweek.
Current Tigers Rank one-two-three Current Clemson golfers Jonathan Byrd rank 1-2-3 in Clemson history in career stroke average. The latest figures that include this academic year show Engler ranked first with a 72.15 career average. Glover is second with a 72.25 figure, while Byrd is fourth at 72.49.
Clemson Career Stroke Average Leaders (Minimum 45 rounds Played)
Current Tigers Three of Top Four in History It is easy to see why Clemson is having such an outstanding season. Four current Tigers are scoring under 72.00 for the year and their stroke averages all rank in the top five in school history for a single season. Jonathan Byrd 71.40 would be fourth best is the season ended today. D.J. Trahan 71.79 would be fifth best in school history if the season ended today. He is far ahead of the Clemson freshman record.
Clemson Single Season Stroke Average Leaders
Glover and Engler Close Statistically John Engler and Lucas Glover could not be closer in terms of their statistics this year and over their careers. For their careers they rank one-two on the Clemson stroke average list and their career stroke averages are just 0.10 apart (72.15 to 72.25). For the first 11 rounds of the spring they had the exact same stroke total. Engler and Glover really play different styles, but the results are just about the same. Engler is more conservative left-hander who is deliberate in his play. Glover is an aggressive right handed player who is one of the quickest players in college. He takes an average of just seven seconds over his shots.
Here is a comparison of career stats that show how close the juniors have been:
Byrd Academic All-American in 1998-99 Clemson golfer Jonathan Byrd chosen to the 1999 Academic All-America team according to the Golf Coaches Association of America and the College Sports Information Directors of America. Byrd was named first-team All-American for his performance on the course in June. Byrd was the only golfer in the nation in 1999 to earn first-team Academic honors and first-team All-America honors on the course.
The native of Columbia is the first Clemson golfer to earn All-America honors on the course and in the classroom in the same year since 1990 when Oswald Drawdy was named to both teams. Byrd is just the second golfer in school history to make both teams in the same year, but the first to be a first-team selection in both.
The junior has a 3.7 grade point average in marketing. He was one of nine Clemson golfers to earn selection to the Clemson academic honor roll for the spring semester of 1999. Larry Penley’s team had a 3.2 team GPA for the spring, highest semester average on record.
Byrd is the seventh athlete in Clemson history, regardless of sport, to be chosen All-American on the field and in the classroom in the same year, the first to do it in nearly a decade.
Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History With Clemson’s #8 national finish in the 1999 NCAA Tournament at Hazeltine in Chaska MN, the Tigers have moved to among the most prominent programs in the country. The 1999 appearance was the 18th consecutive year in the national tournament for the Tigers, the second longest streak in the country. Only Oklahoma State, with an incredible 53 consecutive years in the national tournament is longer.
Clemson finished eighth at the NCAAs last year, Clemson’s third straight top 10 finish. this is the first time Clemson has had three straight top 10 finishes in golf, and just the second Clemson program in any sport to do it in the last 20 years. The Tigers baseball team had three straight op 10s from 1994-96.
The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament every year since 1982 and have been every year since 1980 with the exception of the 1981 event. Thus, Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament 18 straight years and 19 of the last 20. All of Clemson’s NCAA national appearances have come since 1980 when Clarence Rose, now on the PGA Tour, was an All-American for the Tigers.
The Tigers finished in the top 15 of the NCAA National Tournament in nine of the 10 years in the decade of the 1990s. That includes 1997 and 1998 when Clemson has finished third and second, respectively. Clemson the only school in the country to finish among the top three teams in the country each of those two seasons. The only year in the 1990s that Clemson has failed to make the cut was in 1995 at Ohio State.
Only Arizona State and Oklahoma State have made the cut in every year of the decade of the 1990s. Clemson and Florida are the only schools to do it in nine of the 10 years in the 1990s.
Clemson has finished in the top 20 of the national event 12 of the last 13 years including five top 10 finishes in the last seven years. Clemson was fourth in 1993 and ninth in 1994. Overall, Clemson has had 16 top 20 finishes in its history.
Clemson’s NCAA National Tournament History
Clemson’s top 10 Individual National Finishes
Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History
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