Clemson, S.C.—Fresh off a victory at the Jack Nicklaus Match Play, the Clemson men’s golf team returns to the course this weekend at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in Alpharetta, Georgia. The Tigers finished second at the 14-team tournament a year ago in a performance that was indicative of things to come for a team that finished tied for eighth at the NCAA Tournament the following June.
The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate is annually one of the top tournaments in the college golf season and that will be no different this year. Six of the top 12 teams in the nation in the latest Golfweek poll released yesterday will compete for the title. The list of top 12 teams includes Clemson (12), Georgia Tech (1), Duke (7), North Carolina (6), Pepperdine (5) and Wake Forest (3). The national field also includes East Tennessee State, Southern California, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas A&M, UCLA, TCU and Virginia.
Coach Larry Penley will stay with the same lineup that has seen Clemson record two third-place finishes in 15-team national stroke play tournaments, and the victory in match play format at the Jack Nicklaus event over the last three tournaments.
Jacob Bridgeman leads the team in stroke average with a 70.67 average and already has four rounds in the 60s. He finished 12th at the Maui Jim and 10th at the Nike Collegiate in his last two starts. He finished a strong seventh-place with a five-under-par 211 at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate last year.
Kyle Cottam is second on the team in stroke average at 70.78 and is just one total shot behind Bridgeman when it comes to the team lead and has a team best five under-par rounds. Cottam finished third at the Carpet Classic the last time he played in the state of Georgia (Dalton) and has played two-under par for his nine rounds so far this year.
Colby Patton has a strong 71.00 stroke average for his nine rounds so far this year and is the only Tiger to finish in the top 25 in all three stroke play tournaments so far this year. In fact he has finished exactly 21st in all three events. His 2&1 win over Evan Katz at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational was important in Clemson’s team victory.
Turk Pettit is fourth on the team in stroke average this year with a 71.33 figure. His resume includes a second-place finish at the Maui Jim in Arizona where he fired a 198 total, 12-under par. It was just the third 54-hole tournament score under 200 in Clemson history. Pettit finished second at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate last year with a 10-under-par score of 206.
William Nottingham rounds out the Clemson lineup with a 71.56 stroke average. The only senior on the Tigers roster finished 18th at the Maui Jim where he had a season best 67 in the opening round. Nottingham will play in his 35th tournament as a Tiger this weekend and needs just four birdies to reach the 300 mark in his career.
Sophomore Zack Gordon will play as an individual in this event. He was in the lineup and finished 29th last year at this event.
Scoring will be available on golfstat.com all weekend. Clemson will be paired with Georgia Tech and Stanford on Friday and will begin play at 9:55 a.m. off the first tee. The address for the course is 1 Golf Club Drive, Alpharetta, Georgia, 30005.