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Men’s Golf Heads to ACC Tournament

April 15, 1999

Clemson Travels to ACC Tournament Clemson is now in the stretch drive to its season. The Tigers have the ACC Tournament at the Old North State Club, the NCAA East Regional at Rhode Island Country Club in May, and the NCAA national tournament at Hazeltine Country Club in June.

Clemson is the two-time defending champion of the ACC Tournament. Clemson won last year at the Old North State Club in New London, NC and captured the event at Whitewater Country Club in Fayetteville, GA in 1997. Clemson is attempting to become the first ACC school to win three straight golf titles since Georgia Tech won four in a row between 1991-94. The record is 10 straight ACC Tournament titles set by Wake Forest 1967-76.

A victory this week would establish a pair of firsts in Clemson golf history. Clemson has never won three straight ACC Tournaments. Plus, a victory this week would be Clemson’s sixth this year. No Clemson golf team has ever won six tournaments in a year.

Clemson has won six ACC Tournaments in its history. The tournament victories came in 1982, 1987, 1988, 1990, 1997 and 1998. Clemson’s 1990 title was a co-championship with NC State in 1990.

Clemson has had four different individual champions five times at the ACC Tournament. Parker Moore first won the event in 1976 with a 207 score, defeating Curtis Strange of Wake Forest by a shot. In 1988 Kevin Johnson won by three shots over Curt Coulter of Virginia. Danny Ellis won the 1992 tournament, then Charles Warren became Clemson’s only two-time champion when he won in 1997 and 1998. He shot a 205 score last year to win the title by one shot over Don Hill of North Carolina.

Current Tigers 1-2-3 in Career Stroke Average An example of the level of play and depth of this year’s Clemson golf team is reflected in the list of the school’s all-time leaders in career stroke average. The top three leaders in Clemson history in this category are on the current Clemson team. And, all are underclassmen.

The career stroke average leaders list is based on a minimum of 50 rounds played in a career.

Sophomore John Engler has a 72.20 career average for 64 rounds, first in Clemson history. He is followed by classmate Lucas Glover at 72.57. Junior Jonathan Byrd, a veteran of 108 rounds, is third at 72.68. That is saying something for a program that boasts recent All-Americans Chris Patton, Kevin Johnson, Charles Warren and Richard Coughlan.

All three of the current Tigers have enhanced their career averages this season. They have combined for 15 top 10 finishes, including Engler’s third place finish at the BELLSOUTH. Byrd has a 71.60 average for the year to go with his 72.68 career average. Engler is second on the team this year with a 71.73 stroke average, while Glover stands at 72.47 for the year, below his 72.57 career average. All three players have 30 rounds and 10 tournaments so far this season.

Clemson Career Stroke Average Leaders

    Rk  Name            Years   Rds  Stks      Ave    1.  John Engler     1997-pr  64  4,621   72.20    2.  Lucas Glover    1997-pr  61  4,427   72.57    3.  Jonathan Byrd   1996-pr 108  7,849   72.68    4.  Chris Patton    1986-90 139 10,106   72.71    5.  Kevin Johnson   1985-89 147 10,711   72.86    6.  Charles Warren  1994-98 144 10,510   72.99    7.  Nicky Goetze    1989-93 159 11,638   73.19

Clemson Wins 1998 ACC tournament Charles Warren shot a final round 69 to claim his second consecutive ACC Tournament medalist honors and lead Clemson to the 1998 team championship for the second straight year. It was Clemson’s sixth ACC Tournament championship.

Clemson and Warren established numerous school records and firsts in winning the title by seven strokes over Georgia Tech. The Tigers had an 11-under-par 277 team score on Sunday and finished with an 836 tournament total, 28-under par. The 28-under par score set a tournament record for lowest team score, breaking the mark set by Wake Forest, who had a 26-under par 838 total in 1980.

The 836 team score was the lowest team score in Clemson history (at the time) and the 28-under par was the second lowest in school history (at the time).

Clemson had its second best final round team score in school history in driving to the victory. Clemson shot 277 as a team on Sunday, topped only by a 276 in the third round at the 1992 ACC Tournament at Rocky Mount NC. All five Clemson golfers shot par or better on Sunday.

Warren led the way with the 69 on Sunday and his 205 team score was just one stroke off the ACC Tournament record. Gary Hallberg had a 204 score in winning the 1980 event for Wake Forest. Warren’s -11 total for the tournament was the lowest in Clemson history for a 54-hole event and he also became the first Tiger in history to have three rounds in the 60s in a 54-hole team event. Warren, a native of Columbia, shot 68 in each of the first two rounds.

Warren won the ACC Tournament for the second straight year, thus becoming just the third player in history to win the ACC Tournament in consecutive years. The others are Ronny Thomas of Wake Forest (1959-60) and Scott Hoch (1977-78).

John Engler was Clemson’s second highest finisher. The freshman from Augusta, GA had a 70 on Sunday, giving him three consecutive rounds under par in his first ACC Tournament. His 209 score, seven-under par, was good enough for fifth place. That 209 score was the lowest ever by a Clemson freshman golfer for a 54-hole tournament.

Jonathan Byrd, also of Columbia, fired an even par 72 on Sunday and finished in eighth place overall with a 210 score. He was six under par for the event, tying his career best for a 54-hole event. It was his seventh top 10 finish of the season.

Joey Maxon shot a four-under 68 on Sunday and finished in a tie for 20th place. He was at 216 for the tournament, even par. It was the fifth time in his last seven tournaments that Maxon shot par or better.

Lucas Glover of Greenville, shot a 70 on Sunday, his best round of the tournament, and finished in a tie for 29th. The native of Greenville, SC was four-over par for the tournament.

Clemson won the event with an 836 score. Georgia Tech shot a 13-under-par team round on Sunday, 275, and finished second with a 843 score. NC State, the leader after two rounds, had an even par 288 round on Sunday and finished third at 845. North Carolina was fourth at 851, Virginia was fifth at 856, Wake Forest sixth at 865, Florida State seventh at 866, Duke was eighth at 868 and Maryland was ninth at 875.

Warren won the individual honors by one stroke over Don Hill of North Carolina. The Tar Heel shot a 68 on Sunday and finished at 206. Matt Kuchar, who finished 21st at the Master’s the previous weekend, was third with a 207 score.

Clemson has Five Tournament Victories Clemson’s win at the Schenkel was the fifth of the academic year for Larry Penley’s program, tying the Clemson single year record. Clemson also won The Ridges, the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate and the Mauna Kea in the fall and the San Juan Shootout in the Spring. The school record for tournament titles in the same academic year is five, set in 1986-87 and 1987-88. Clemson had three wins in 1997-98, the Jerry Pate, the Carpet Classic and the ACC Tournament. Clemson has won at least one tournament every year since 1980-81.

Tigers 20-under in Six of Last 13 Tourneys Perhaps the greatest documentation of Clemson’s level of play over the last couple of years has been an examination of the team’s scores versus par. Clemson shot -34 for the 54 holes of the San Juan Shootout, an all-time record for any Clemson tournament, regardless of the number of holes. That was the third time this year and the sixth time in the last 13 tournaments that Clemson has been 20-under par or better for a tournament. In the previous 68 seasons of Clemson golf, Clemson had just two tournaments in which it was 20-under-par or better.

Clemson 30-15-1 against Top 10 Teams Clemson was ranked number-two in the nation by Mastercard and number-one by Sagarin entering the BELLSOUTH in Cary, NC. Clemson has faired well against the top teams this year. In fact, Clemson is a combined 30-15-1 against top 10 teams and has an average stroke margin of 31 strokes per team.

In fact only Georgia (3-4) and UNLV (2-3) have winning records against Clemson this year. The Tigers have a stroke average advantage against all but the defending national champions Rebels. The Tigers are 6-1 against Georgia Tech, 4-2 against Houston, 4-0 against Texas and 3-1 against South Carolina.

Clemson has been dominant against the ACC this year. In fact, ACC teams have only beaten Clemson in one event, the Carpet Classic when Clemson finished ninth. Five ACC teams beat the Tigers that day. Other than that tournament, Clemson is 24-0 against the ACC this year.

Still, Clemson is 24-5 against the ACC this year and has a combined stroke advantage of -645, or 80.6 strokes per ACC opponent.

Clemson vs. the Mastercard Top 10

(As of April 8 poll, through results of April 10)    Rk  Team           W-L Stk Mar.    1.  Georgia        3-4     -13    2.  Clemson         3.  UNLV           2-3      +5    4.  Georgia Tech   6-1     -27    5.  Oklahoma State 2-2      -8    6.  Houston        4-2     -63    7.  Texas          4-0     -80    8.  Arizona State  3-1     -31    9.  South Carolina 3-1     -25   10.  Florida        3-1-1   -71        Total        30-15-1  -313

Clemson vs. the ACC in 1998-99 Rk Team W-L Stk Mar. 4 Georgia Tech 6-1 -27 14 North Carolina 4-1 -134 18 NC State 3-1 -79 27 Maryland 0-0 — 42 Virginia 4-1 -147 Duke 2-0 -22 Florida State 1-0 -73 Wake Forest 4-1 -163 Totals 24-5 -645

Clemson Among National Stat Leaders Clemson was ranked first in the Sagarin poll last week and Larry Penley’s team has the stats in various golf performance categories to back up that ranking. As a team, Clemson ranked in the top 10 in the nation in five of the eight possible areas computed by GolfStat (April 6). That includes a number-two ranking in par 4 scoring (4.11) and subpar strokes per round (3.38).

Individually, four different Clemson players rank in the top 10 in the nation of at least two categories. John Engler and Michael Hoey rank one-two in the nation in greens reached in regulation. Engler leads the nation in Fairways hit with a 90 percent rating. Lucas Glover is seventh in the country in par 5 scoring and subpar strokes/round. Jonathan Byrd is 9th in putting and fourth in total short game.

Clemson Team in GolfStat Rankings (As of April 6)

*Par 4 Scoring                  2nd--4.11*Greens in Regulation           2nd--.710*% Fairways hit                 4th--.722*Subpar strokes/Round           2nd--3.38*Putts on Greens in Regulation  5th--1.847
Individual Rankings in Golfstat (As of April 6)Jonathan Byrd--        *4th--Total Short Game (.706)        *9th--Putts on Green in Regulation (1.779)John Engler--        *1st--Fairways Hit (.901)        *1st--Greens in Regulation (.831)        *3rd--Par 4 Scoring (4.00)Lucas Glover--        *7th--Subpar Strokes/Round (4.04)        *7th--Par 5 Scoring (4.58)Michael Hoey--        *7th--Fairways Hit (.829)        *2nd--Greens in Regulation (.793)

Last Outing

Clemson Finishes Fourth at BELLSOUTH Intercollegiate

Cary, NCJohn Engler led a balanced Clemson performance as the Tigers finished in a tie for fourth at the BELLSOUTH Yellow Pages Intercollegiate at MacGregor Downs Country Club in Cary, NC. UNLV won the event at 869, eight shots better than the Tigers, who tied for fourth with East Tennessee State.

New Mexico was second at 873, while Minnesota was third at 974. Clemson, ranked second in the nation entering this week, was the top ACC school with the 877 score, while Duke and North Carolina tied for sixth in the 12-team field at 883. Kansas and NC State were tied for eighth at 890. Wake Forest and Tulsa were tied for 10th at 894 and Texas A&M was 12th at 922.

Engler finished in a tie for third in the medalist race. The Tiger sophomore had rounds of 71-71-73 to finish at one-under par 215. Engler was the top competitor in the tournament in the par threes as he was -2 for the 54-holes. He also tied for third in pars with 37.

Michael Hoey and Jonathan Byrd also had top 20 finishes for the Tigers at the BELLSOUTH. Hoey tied for 16th and shot a 220 for the event on scores of 73-74-73. The Clemson freshman from Ireland had 37 pars, tied with Engler for third in the tournament. Byrd tied for 19th at the tournament with a 221 score. Byrd was also consistent in terms of scoring pars, he was sixth in the tournament with 36 pars.

Lucas Glover finished 31st with a 223 score after a 75 on Saturday, while Elliot Gealy was tied for 43rd at 227. Gealy scored a 73 on Saturday and had a 227 score for the event.

Byrd Nine-under for the Year Jonathan Byrd led Clemson to victory at the Schenkel Invitational. He fired a two-under-par 214 to finish in a tie for fourth. It was his sixth top 10 finish of the year, his eighth in a row in the top 20. He also finished in the top 20 at the BELLSOUTH, giving him 10 in a row. Byrd’s final round 69 at the Schenkel was the best individual round of the tournament for a Tiger and it was his 22nd career round in the 60s.

Byrd won medalist performer honors in the first tournament of the year, as his 207 won the Ridges intercollegiate at Johnson City, TN. He was also second at the Golf World in November. For his career, Byrd now has a 72.68 career average, third in Clemson history behind only teammates John Engler and Lucas Glover.

Byrd has 19 top 10 finishes in 36 career events, and he is the only Clemson golfer in history to have over 50 percent of his tournaments end in top 10 finishes. Kevin Johnson is the closest with 27 top 10s in 54 career tournaments.

Byrd now has 41 career under-par rounds, already fifth in school history and is fourth in rounds in the 60s with 22. Remember he is only a junior. Byrd needs just two rounds under par to pass former Clemson All-American and current Mississippi State coach Nicky Goetze for fourth place.

The native of Columbia is attempting to become the first Clemson golfer in history to be first-team All-ACC as a freshman, sophomore and junior. He is also attempting to play on three straight ACC Tournament championship teams, something no Clemson golfer in history has done. He hopes to join Chris Patton as the only Tiger to play on three ACC Tournament championship teams in a career.

Engler Breaks 12-year-old Record John Engler punctuated his 205 performance with a 65 at the San Juan Shootout and won co-medalist honors with East Tennessee State’s David Christensen. Engler’s 205 score and -11 rating versus par broke school records in both areas for a Clemson sophomore, another indication of the young talent on this Clemson team.

Engler broke the sophomore tournament record held by Kevin Johnson, who had a 206 (-10) at the Homberg Intercollegiate in 1986-87. The 205 by Engler this year tied for the second best overall tournament in Clemson history. Chris Patton had a 204 for a 54-hole All-American Tournament in 1990. That was at the Sun Bowl Tournament. Patton also shot a 205 at the event in 1989. Thus, Charles Warren and Engler are the only Clemson players in history to have a 205 in a team tournament.

Engler was Clemson’s top golfer at the BELLSOUTH with a third place finish and a 215 score. This season, Engler has finished in the top 20 in every event, including a first-place finish at the San Juan Shootout and a second place finish at the Preview. He also has a fifth place at the Jerry Pate, meaning he has four top five finishes this year.

Hoey Has Had an Impact Last season John Engler and Lucas Glover both shattered the school record for season stroke average by a freshman. That record might be in jeopardy again, as freshman Michael Hoey has had a strong showing for his first year.

The freshman from Ireland has a 73.21 stroke average so far this year and has finished in the top 20 in six of his eight events. He has three top 12 finishes, including his 212 score at the San Juan Shootout. He finished 13th at the Schenkel, but he was Clemson’s second best competitor, a key to Clemson’s team victory.

Hoey finished sixth in his first event as a Clemson golfer, the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate when he had a 207, best tournament score in Clemson history for a freshman. He was tied for first after a 67 in the opening round of the San Juan Shootout. A final round 75 knocked him out of the top 10, but his four under par performance was still outstanding.

Active Tigers have Five Medalist Honors Three different current Tigers have won a tournament in their careers. Jonathan Byrd, who has been first-team All-ACC as a freshman and sophomore, has won two titles, the 1997 San Juan Shootout, and The Ridges, this past fall. Lucas Glover also has a pair of wins, last year’s Carpet Classic and the Mauna Kea this past November. John Engler, perhaps Clemson’s most consistent golfer, won his first career event at the San Juan Shootout this year.

Clemson #1 in Sagarin Poll, #2 in Mastercard Clemson is ranked number-one in the nation in the latest Jeff Sagarin Computer poll and second in the Mastercard poll (April 8). This is the first year that Sagarin Computer rankings have been used to rate college golf teams and individuals.

Clemson has three consensus top 20 players, the only school in the nation that can make that claim. Jonathan Byrd would be considered Clemson’s highest ranked player. The junior is ranked in the top 5 of all three stat rankings of college players.

Clemson Individual Player Rankings

   (As of April 10, 1999)    Player         Sagarin Mastercard  Golfstat    Jonathan Byrd    5th  (69.20)      3rd (262.483)   5th (71.37)    John Engler      7th  (69.58)      5th (226.425)   9th (71.74)    Lucas Glover    13th  (70/09)     14th (182.77)   18th (72.26)    Michael Hoey    35th  (106.310)      

Mastercard Rankings (April 1)

 1. Georgia 2. Clemson 3. UNLV 4. Georgia Tech 5. Oklahoma State  6. Houston 7. Texas 8. Arizona State 9. South Carolina 10. Florida

Sagarin Top 10 (April 6)

 1. Clemson  2. Georgia 3. Georgia Tech 4. Oklahoma State 5. UNLV 6. Houston 7. South Carolina 8. Texas  9. Arizona State10. Florida

Facts on Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley

Seeking his fifth ACC Coach of the Year Award, which would seta league record for a golf coach. Penley and former Georgia TechCoach Puggy Blackman have four apiece. Penley has won the awardthree straight years and is already the only ACC golf coach inhistory to win the honor three straight seasons. Penley is one ofjust five men’s coaches in any sport in ACC history to win ACCCoach of the Year three or more consecutive years. Bob Pollock,Clemson’s men’s track coach had a five-year streak (1989-93). HasClemson ranked number-one in the nation in the Sagarin poll, thethird different season Clemson has been ranked number-one. Hascoached Clemson to 42 tournament championships in his career,including five ACC titles, more than any other Clemson golf coach.The Tigers have won five tournaments this year, tying the Clemsonschool record. Has taken Clemson to the NCAA National Tournamentall 15 years he has been the head coach. He and Mike Holder ofOklahoma State are the only active coaches to take a team to thenational tournament 15 straight years.

Has coached Clemson to four Final Four finishes as the NCAA tournament, including each of the last two years. Clemson finished third in 1997 and second in 1998.

Tigers Finish 4th at Golf Digest Collegiate Lucas Glover fired a career best six-under-par 66 to lead Clemson to a 278 team score on the final day and a fourth-place team finish at the Golf Digest Collegiate at Desert Inn Country Club in Las Vegas. The Tigers had the second lowest team round of the final day, but defending National Champion UNLV was two strokes better and won the tournament by four shots over Georgia.

UNLV had a team score of 855 to win the event, nine-under par. The host team had shot 298 on the first day, but finished with scores of 281 and 276 on the last two days over the course they play often during the season. Georgia had a 285 score on the final day, seven strokes more than the Tigers, but the team from Athens had an 859 score to finish second.

Oklahoma State, who has been to the NCAA National Tournament a record 52 consecutive years, was third at 862, one stroke better than the Tigers, who have been to the National event 17 consecutive years.

Georgia Tech finished fifth with an 870 score, the fifth consecutive tournament this year and ninth time in the last 10 over two years Clemson has beaten the second ranked Yellow Jackets. Arizona State was sixth at 878, while Texas was seventh at 879. New Mexico ranked eighth at 880, while top 10 Houston finished ninth at 882. Defending champion Virginia was 10th at 887. There were 15 teams in the field and 13 are ranked in the top 20 in the nation.

Glover showed consistent improvement over the course of the event and his 211 score for the event was fifth best overall, best among the Tigers. His 66 on Sunday tied for the best individual round of the entire tournament. He fired an incredible 29 on the back nine, including an eagle on the last hole. John Engler made a 10-stroke improvement over his second round and finished 14th after a final round 67 and a tournament score of 217.

Jonathan Byrd had a 71 on Sunday and finished 18th with a two-over-par 218. Senior Elliot Gealy, among the leaders after the first day, had a 74 on Sunday and was 36th at 222. Freshman Michael Hoey had an 80 on Sunday and was 57th with a 230 score.

Tigers Win San Juan Shootout John Engler fired a seven-under par 65 to take co-medalist honors and lead the Clemson golf team to the championship of the San Juan Shootout at the River Course at Rio Mar Country Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The victory was the fourth of the year in six tournaments for Larry Penley’s Tigers, who did nothing to hurt their #1 ranking in all three college golf polls.

Clemson won the event by four strokes over Georgia Tech (834). Georgia and East Tennessee State were tied for third at 858, six-under par. NC State was fifth at 860, while Texas was sixth at 870. North Carolina was seventh at 873, Duke was 10th at 888, Virginia 12th at 894, Wake Forest 13th at 898 and Florida State 15th at 903. The 18-team field included 10 of the top 25 teams in the nation.

Engler fired a 65 on Feb. 23rd to tie David Christensen of East Tennessee State. Engler had rounds of 70-70-65 for his 205 score, the lowest tournament of his career. His 65 was not a season low, as the native of Augusta, GA had a 64 in the second round of the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. He did become the first Clemson golfer in history to have two rounds at 65 or better in the same year. It was the first victory of Engler’s career.

Clemson won the event with a 34-under team score, 830. That is a Clemson record for a 54-hole tournament score, breaking the record of 832 set earlier this fall at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. It also broke the record for strokes under-par in a tournament. The previous best was -31 at the NCAA Championships last year.

All five Clemson golfers finished at four-under par or better for the event and all five finished in the top 12. Both of those accomplishments were Clemson firsts. Elliot Gealy, Clemson’s number-five golfer, shot a 71 on Tuesday and finished at five-under par 211. That was the best 54-hole score of his career by six shots. Lucas Glover tied Gealy for eighth place with a consistent 71-70-70 for a 211 score.

Jonathan Byrd won the team comeback award for the event. After an opening round 76, Byrd had rounds of 69 and 67 over the final two days for a 212 total, four-under par. He tied for 12th along with Clemson freshman Michael Hoey. The 12th-place finish ended Byrd’s string of top 10 finishes at five.

Clemson Takes Schenkel Invitational Statesboro, GAClemson overcame a five-stroke deficit entering the final round, then defeated Georgia on the second hole of a sudden death team playoff to claim the championship of the Chris Schenkel Invitational at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, GA.

The victory was Clemson’s fifth tournament title in eight events for the Tigers, who did nothing to hurt their consensus number-one ranking. The fifth victory of the year ties the Clemson record for tournament championships in a season. Clemson also won five tournaments in 1986-87 and in 1987-88. The 15-team field included seven of the top 20 teams in the nation.

Clemson shot a 291 on Sunday and had an 869 total for the 54 holes, the same score as Georgia, who had a 296 in the final round. Both teams counted four pars on the first extra hole, then Clemson won the event on the second extra hole.

Jonathan Byrd led the Tigers with a 69 in the final round and a fourth place overall ranking. It was his sixth top 10 finish in eight events this year and his final round 69 was his ninth round in the 60s this year. The native of Columbia is now -16 for his 24 rounds this season, best on the Clemson team.

Michael Hoey and Lucas Glover shot final round scores of 73 and both finished in the top 20 overall for the event. Hoey, a freshman from Ireland, finished 13th at the event with his 219 54-hole score, while Glover, a native of Greenville, and Wade Hampton High School, had a 221 score to rank 19th.

John Engler had a 76 on Sunday and finished 15th for the event with a 220 score. Jani Saari, playing in his first career tournament, shot a 79 in the final round for a 224 score and was 34th.

Clemson Finishes Ninth at Carpet Classic Clemson’s golf team, ranked number-one in the nation entering the Carpet Classic, will enter the BELLSOUTH Intercollegiate coming off its worst tournament finish of the year. The Tigers finished ninth out of 18 teams at the Carpet Classic and shot a +18 score of 882. Only an 896 at The Preview back in September is worse. Clemson did not have a top 10 individual finisher for the first time this year.

Clemson did have a pair of top 20 finishers as Jonathan Byrd and John Engler both shot 218 totals, good enough for a tie for 19th. Byrd’s best round was a 70 in the second round, while Engler had a 70 in the opening round and a par 72 in the final round. It was only the fourth time this year in 27 rounds that Engler failed to score 75 or under.

Lucas Glover, the defending co-medalist at the event had a 226 and finished 55th. Freshman Michael Hoey had the best round by a Tiger with a 69 in the second round, but shot 80 and 78 in his other two rounds and finished 60th. Senior Elliot Gealy had a 235 and finished 79th.