Feb. 17, 2003
Ben Duncan shot two rounds at par or better to lead Clemson to a third place team ranking after two rounds of the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate. The event is being played at the par 72 and 6895-yard Sawgrass Country Club course in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
It is the 12th year of the event, but Clemson’s first appearance. Nine of the 15 teams in the field are ranked in the top 20 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. It is the first tournament of the spring season for Clemson, who enters the event ranked number-one in the nation in all three college golf polls.
Augusta State was the only team to score under par in both rounds on Monday, and stands in first place by 10 shots. They had rounds of 285 and 281 to hold a 10-shot lead over Oklahoma State, who had rounds of 281 and 295. Clemson is tied for third with Florida at 577. Clemson had a consistent day with team rounds of 287 and 290. Florida is the four-time defending champion of the event.
Wake Forest is fifth at 580, four over par, while North Carolina State stands sixth at 581. Texas, who tied Clemson for third place at the NCAA Tournament last year, is seventh at 582. The field includes the top ranked Tigers, fourth ranked Florida, fifth ranked Wake Forest, sixth ranked North Carolina, seventh ranked Augusta and 10th ranked Duke.
Clemson trailed by six shots after the first round. The Tigers posted a 287 score, good enough for fourth place, six shots behind Oklahoma State. Clemson was very consistent as a team in the first round, as all five Tigers were between 71 and 73. Senior Ben Duncan led the way with a 71, while Gregg Jones, Matt Hendrix and Jack Ferguson all shot even par 72s. D.J. Trahan had an opening nine-hole score of 40, then responded with a 33 on the back nine to finish with a one-over-par 73.
Trahan came back in the second round to shoot a one-under-par 71. That was with a bogey on the par five 18th hole. Duncan shot an even par 72 and is Clemson’s top golfer after 36 holes with a 143 score. He stands in a tie for 10th place. Duncan had six birdies and an eagle (his second hole of the day) in leading the Tigers. Trahan stands at 144, good enough for 15th position, while junior Gregg Jones is a 145, a number-20 place ranking. Jones had rounds of 72 and 73 on Monday.
Matt Hendrix had rounds of 72 and 77. All five Clemson golfers had at least one round at par or better. That was quite an accomplishment because most of the Tigers did not get a practice round on Sunday due to inclement weather.
Clemson at Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate Feb. 17, 2003 Sawgrass Country Club, Ponte Vedra, FL Par 72, 6895 yards
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