Clemson, S.C—Larry Penley’s Clemson men’s golf team heads to Aiken, SC Monday in pursuit of a second straight and fifth title in the team’s last eight appearances at the Palmetto Intercollegiate at famed Palmetto Club. The Tigers are ranked eighth in the nation in the latest Collegiate Golf Coaches poll, the highest ranking of any team in the field and third among ACC schools.
Clemson has won the tournament in 2012, 2014, 2017 and 2020, and has nine Palmetto championships overall. Clemson has played in the event off and on since 1968. Penley has nine of his 79 tournament championships at the Palmetto Intercollegiate.
The ninth win took place last year in dominating fashion as the Tigers finished with a 27-under-par score of 813, 16 shots ahead of second place Virginia. It was also Clemson’s lowest 54-hole team score at the Palmetto. Jacob Bridgeman won medalist honors by four shots with a 198 score, the largest victory margin by a Clemson golfer in four years.
Bridgeman will be back in the Clemson lineup this week at the top of Penley’s lineup. The junior from Inman, SC leads the Tigers with a 68.17 stroke average. He won the season opening Camp Creek Seminole Invitational with a 201 score, 15-under par, then finished sixth at the Kiawah Invitational, leading the Tigers to a second-place team finish. He was named the ACC Golfer of the Month for February.
Turk Pettit will not be in the Clemson lineup as he participates in the Mackenzie Tour qualifying. William Nottingham will be Clemson’s number-two player this week. Nottingham has a 71.83 stroke average so far this year, and is coming off a top 10 at the Kiawah Invitational. He finished third at this tournament last year, the top finish of his career.
Zack Gordon has played as an individual each of the first two tournaments and has a 72.00 average to show for it, including a 13th place finish at the Kiawah Invitational where he had a pair of rounds in the 60s.
Kyle Cottam is a senior who has a 72.67 average for his first two events. He also has a pair of rounds in the 60s early this season. Colby Patton with his 71.50 average, third best on the team, rounds out the lineup. His father, Chris Patton, won the Palmetto in 1990.
The field will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Live scoring will be available at golfstat.com.
Bushnell/Golfweek Division I Coaches Poll
(March 5, 2021)