Dec. 4, 2000
Clemson, SC – Four former Clemson golfers, including three former Tiger All-Americans who played for current Head Coach Larry Penley, have earned their PGA Tour Card for the 2001 season. The four Tigers all finished in the top 27 of the Qualifying school event, which is played over six days at the Jack Nicklaus PGA West Course in LaQuinta, CA. The top 35 finishers in the event qualified for the 2001 PGA Tour.
The four former Tigers who made the cut and will compete on the PGA Tour this coming year are Kevin Johnson, Richard Coughlan, Danny Ellis and Jeff Julian. The first three were All-Americans at Clemson, while Julian was a member of the Tiger team in the early 1980s, but never played in a regular season tournament.
Johnson has been a professional since 1989, but this will be the first year he has qualified for the PGA Tour. He finished fifth in the qualifying school tournament, firing rounds of 70-67-65-64-70-69 for a 405 total. Johnson’s six-round tournament featured 34 birdies and three eagles. Johnson played for the Tigers from 1985-89 and was ACC Champion in 1988.
Coughlan finished eighth with a 409 total for the six days, 23-under-par. He posted rounds of 66-69-65-69-68-72. This will be Coughlan’s second year on the PGA Tour. He made it through qualifying school in 1998, the year after he graduated from Clemson and finished 151st on the money list. Coughlan was an All-American in 1996 and 1997 and was named ACC Co-Player of the Year as a senior.
Danny Ellis, an All-American for the Tigers in 1993, finished 27th at the PGA Tour Q School with a 416 total, 16-under-par. Ellis had rounds of 69-67-71-71-71-67. He needed that five under-par final round to make the top 35 cut with one stroke to spare.
Julian also finished 27th with a 416 total. The native of Vermont had rounds of 67-70-68-72-68-71. This will be his second year on the PGA Tour. He also qualified in 1996 after a top 30 finish at the Q School of 1995. His highest PGA Tour finish is 16th at the 1996 Buick Classic. He has played in two US Opens, 1990 and 1995.
Jonathan Byrd, a three-time All-American who was a member of the 2000 Clemson team, did not make the cut, finishing 110th in the field of 168. He will play on the buy.com tour this coming season.
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