March 15, 1999
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.
Clemson Returns to the Schenkel Clemson returns to the Chris Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, GA on March 27-28. It will be Clemson’s first appearance in the tournament since 1989. Clemson played in the event in every year in the decade of the 1980s with the exception of 1982. The Tigers won the event in 1988 with an 854 team score. Clemson was second in 1986 and 1989. The Tournament will be played at Forest Heights Country Club in Statesboro, GA. The teams will play 36 holes on March 27, then 18 on the 28th.
It is the first of three straight weekends of tournaments for Larry Penley’s team. Clemson will be in the Carpet Capilal Collegiate on April 2-3 then compete in the McGregor Downs Invitational in Cary, NC April 7-8. That will be the last “regular season” tournament prior to the ACC Tournament April 16-18.
Glover on a Hot Streak Clemson’s hotest golfer at the moment is sophomore Lucas Glover. The native of Greenville, SC and Wade Hampton High School has three straight top 10 finishes, including medalist honors at the Mauna Kea in Hawaii last November and a fifth place ranking at the prestigious Golf Digest in Las Vegas March 12-14.
Glover concluded his performance at the Golf Digest with his career best round, a 66. That round included a 29 on the back nine, believed to be the best nine hole score in Clemson history. Glover has three consecutive tournaments under par and is a combined 13 under for his last nine rounds. For the year, Glover has a 71.62 average, four top 10 finishes and is -5 overall.
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.
Three Tigers under 72 Average Three of Clemson’s starting five current have stroke averages under 72.00. That is an incredible statement considering only three players in Clemson history have had averages under 72.0 for the course of a season. Charles Warren set the school record last year with a 71.28 average, while Chris Patton had a 71.85 average in 1988-89 and Dillard Pruitt played to a 71.94 average in 1983-84.
Jonathan Byrd leads the Tigers this year with a 71.19 stroke average through 21 rounds this year. That is ahead of Warren’s single season record. John Engler, the recent winner of the San Juan Shootout, has a 71.38 average for 21 rounds. Lucas Glover is a third Tiger under 72.0 with a 71.62 average. All three are at least five-under par for the season. No Clemson team in history has ever had three players end a season with even par or better cumulative totals.
All five of Clemson’s starters have had rounds of 67 or better this year. Byrd, Hoey, Glover and Elliot Gealy have all had at least a 67 this year, while John Engler’s season low is 64, set at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate last fall. Engler also had a 65 in the final round at the third round of the San Juan Shootout. Glover had a final round 66 at the Golf Digest.
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.
Byrd 14-under for the Year Jonathan Byrd had his worst tournament of the year at the Golf Digest. He finished 18th and shot two over par. That would be the best tournament of the year for most college golfers.
That is a high level of performance for a long period of time. Byrd ranked in the top 10 of every tournament over the first five events of the year, a first in Clemson history. That included a medalist performance 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 72.69 career average, best in Clemson history. His performance this year has put him just ahead of Chris Patton, who had a 72.71 stroke average between 1986-90. Byrd now has 18 top 10 finishes in 33 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 38 career under-par rounds, already fifth in school history and is fourth in rounds in the 60s with 21. Remember he is only a junior.
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 four events.
The freshman from Ireland has a 72.73 stroke average so far this year and has finished in the top 20 in four of his five events. He has three top 12 finishes, including his 212 score at the San Juan Shootout. 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 after 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.
Gealy Has Career Best Performance Clemson has not had consistent play from the number-five position over the last couple of seasons, but Elliot Gealy is trying to change that in his red-shirt senior year. Gealy has played very well in his last three events, finishing in the top 11 in two events. The native of Salisbury, NC had rounds of 71 and 72 to close the fall, his last two rounds at the Mauna Kea, leaading to an 11th place ranking individually and helping Clemson to the team title.
At the San Juan Shootout, Gealy had rounds of 73-67 -71. It gave Gealy a six under par total for his last five rounds. The 67 tied his career best for a single round and the 211 score was his best by seven strokes, as was his -5 score versus par. At Las Vegas, all three of Gealy’s rounds counted on the way to a 222 score for the 54 holes.
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.
Clemson has Four Tournament Victories Clemson’s win at the San Juan Shootout was the fourth of the academic year for Larry Penley’s program. Clemson also won The Ridges, the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate and the Mauna Kea in the fall. This is the first time since 1989-90 that Clemson has won four tournaments in one year. 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 10 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 10 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 #1 in Sagarin Poll Clemson is ranked number-one in the nation in the latest Jeff Sagarin Computer poll (March 11). This is the first year that Sagarin Computer rankings have been used to rate college golf teams and individuals. Clemson is ranked first ahead of Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Georgia, Texas, Houston, UNLV, Arizona State, Florida and Minnesota.
It is easy to see why Sagarin ranks the Tigers so high, four of the top 12 players in the nation are from Clemson. Jonathan Byrd is ranked second behind Oklahoma State’s Edward Loar. Clemson’s John Engler is seventh, Lucas Glover is 10th and Michel Hoey is 12th. Bryce Molder of Georgia Tech, ranked 11th, is the only other ACC player ranked in the top 12.
Clemson Individual Player Rankings (As of March 11, 1999) Player Sagarin Mastercard Golfstat Jonathan Byrd 2nd (68.57) 3rd (178.250) 3rd (70.94) John Engler 7th (69.37) 4th (178.225) 6th (71.22) Lucas Glover 10th (69.70) 11th (126.000) 13th (71.83) Michael Hoey 12th (69.79) 24th (81.360) 14th (71.75) Elliot Gealy 51st (45.285)
Mastercard Rankings (March 11) 1. Clemson, 2. UNLV, 3. Texas, 4. Georgia Tech, 5. Oklahoma State, 6. Houston, 7. Georgia, 8. Florida, 9. Arizona State, 10. Washington.
Clemson under Larry Penley
Finished in top 3 in the nation, 4 times, including1997 andNCAA Runnerup in 1998 ACC Champions five times, including 1997 and1998 One of just four programs nationally to appear in 15consecutive NCAA National Tournaments. 4 Top Four Finishes in last10 years Ranked number-one for five polls in 1998-99, including thecurrent rankings. 10 top 15 seasons in 15 years 13 first-second-orthird-team All-Americans. 20 First-team All-ACC selections in thedecade of the 1990s 41 Tournament Championships, including five ACCtitles and 3 NCAA Regionals Four-team ACC Coach of the Year,including 1996, 1997 and 1998
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