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Men’s Golf Heads to NCAA Regional

May 7, 1998

Next Tee Time For Clemson Clemson will travel to the NCAA East Regional May 14-16 at the Melrose Course at Daufuskie Island, SC. There will be 23 teams competing for 11 spots in the NCAA National Tournament. That event will be held May 27-30 at the University Course at the University of New Mexico.

Clemson finished second at the East Regional last year at the Cascade Course at the Homestead in Virginia. The Tigers have done well at the regional level since the event was created in 1989. Clemson has finished in the top four of the event seven of the nine years it has been in existence, including championships in 1993-94-95. Clemson is the only school in the country to win three consecutive regional titles.

Last year Charles Warren was Clemsons top performer with a three-over-par 213, good enough for third place. Joey Maxon, who like Warren received his degree from Clemson on May 6, finished eighth with a 217 total. Jonathan Byrd, a sophomore on this years team, was 66th with a 229 total.

Other ACC teams that are in this years East regional field include Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State, Florida State, Virginia and Wake Forest. That means seven of the nine ACC schools have been chosen for the regional.

Clemson is seeded #1 from District 3 North, while Georgia is seeded #1 in District 3 South. Other SEC teams in the field include South Carolina, Florida, Auburn and LSU.

Quick Facts on East RegionalDates: May 14-16Location: Daufuskie Island, SC (Melrose Course)Par: 72 (7,081 yards)Host: Southeastern ConferenceMedia Host: Neal Reid (Auburn)Phone: (803) 341-4810

Individual Rankings Clemson is the only school in the nation to have five players ranked among the top 50 players in the nation according to the latest Mastercard rankings. That has been the case for the last four weeks. In fact, no other team even has four players in the top 50. This is the first time all five Clemson players have been ranked in the top 50 in the country at the same time. Clemson is also believed to be the only school in the nation to have all five starters with under a 73 stroke average for the academic year.

Two Tigers are also ranked in the top 25 in the nation in the Golfstat Cup statistical rankings. These rankings take into account adjusted stroke averages. Charles Warren is 11th with a 72.70 adjusted stroke average, while Jonathan Byrd is 25th at 73.18.

Mastercard Individual Rankings (April 8, 1998) Jonathan Byrd 16th, 188.932 Charles Warren, 17th, 178.542 Joey Maxon, 36th, 122.384 John Engler, 40th, 113.200 Lucas Glover, 45th, 107.332

Rankings Clemson is ranked second in the latest Mastercard Collegiate Golf Poll released on May 6. This is the fourth straight week Clemson has been ranked second in the nation. Clemson has been in tournaments with 20 of the top 25 teams in the nation and Clemson has a stroke advantage over all 20 teams and has a winning record against 17 of those 20 teams. Clemson is jusgt 1-4 against UNLV, but has a stroke margin of seven in its favor. TCU is the only other top 25 teams (2-3) with a winning record against Clemson. Clemson is 1-1 vs. Southern Cal.

Clemsons number-two ranking is its highest since the preseason of 1988-89 when a team led by Chris Patton and Kevin Johnson was the number-one team in the nation in the preseason poll.

Here is a list of the top 25 in the Mastercard collegiate rankings (May 6) and Clemson record and stroke margin against each team.

    Rk  Team            CU vs.  Stroke Mar.    1.  UNLV            1-4-0   -7      2.  Clemson    3.  Georgia Tech      3-1-0    -15    4.  Arizona           2-0-0    -16    5.  Georgia           1-0-0    -26    6.  TCU               2-3-0    -15    7.  Oklahoma State    3-1-0    -22    8.  Houston           3-1-0    -29    9.  South Carolina    2-1-0    -48    10. North Carolina    5-3-0    -76    11. Florida           6-0-0    -92    12. Arkansas          0-0-0    13. Arizona State     3-0-1    -61    14. Augusta State     0-0-0    15. Auburn            2-0-0    -36    16. NC State          5-1-0    -72    17. Colorado State    0-0-0    18. East Tenn. State  6-2-0   -101    19. Florida State     1-0-0    -33    20. UCLA              0-0-0    21. Virginia          5-1-0   -157    22. New Mexico        3-1-0    -53    23. Brigham Young     1-0-0     -4    24. LSU               2-0-0    -85    25. Southern Cal      1-1-0    -18

Clemson in Golfstat National Statistics (As of May 6, 1998) Overall Individual Rankings *John Engler, 1st, Greens in regulation, .859 *John Engler, 2nd, Fairways hit, .902 *Charles Warren, 2nd, Subpar strokes/round, 4.11 *Charles Warren, 6th, putts on greens in reg, 1.796 *Charles Warren, 2nd, par 4 scoring, 4.02 *Charles Warren, 5th, greens in regulation, .718 *Jonathan Byrd,8th, subpar strokes/torn, 3.88 *Jonathan Byrd, 3rd, total short game, .691 *Jonathan Byrd, 4th, putts on greens in reg, 1.790

Team Sets Record for Sub 280 Rounds Clemson posted a 279 team score in the second round of the Cuscowilla Intercollegiate on March 23 and set a school season record in the process. It marked the fifth time this year that Clemson had posted a team score under 280 for an individual team round, the most in a season in Clemson history.

Since then, Clemson has had two more sub-280 rounds, both at the ACC Tournament at the Old North State Course in New London, NC, giving Clemson seven sub-280 rounds for the year.

This years performance broke the record of four sub-280 rounds set by Clemsons 1986-87 team. That team featured Kevin Johnson and Chris Patton, a pair of first-team All-Americans. Larry Penleys Tigers had three players in the 60s for the days work as Charles Warren and Lucas Glover shot 68s and Jonathan Byrd fired a 69. The Tigers added a 280 team score in the final round.

Clemsons top round this year took place on September 16, the second round of the season, when the Tigers had a 273 team score for the second round of the Palmetto Classic. The -15 team score included rounds of 67 by Elliot Gealy and Charles Warren and a 67 by Jonathan Byrd. Joey Maxons 71 also counted toward the team score that established an all-time school record for team round.

The Tigers also had a 274 at Mauna Kea, a 278 at Golf Digest and a 279 at Golf World. All of those were recorded on par 72 layouts.

Three Under Par Rounds in One Tournament In winning the ACC Tournament with a record -28 team score, Clemson had three team rounds under par. Clemson shot an eleven-under 277 in the first and third rounds and a 282 in the second round, six-under-par.

This was the second time this year and the seventh time in the last 13 years that Clemson has had three rounds under par in a 54-hole event. Clemson also turned the trick twice in 1993, once in 1992, once in 1987 and once in 1986. Clemson also had three team rounds under par at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA this year, and even Clemson won with a -9 team score.

Here’s a list three teams rounds under par since 1986:

    Year    Event   Rounds    1986    Chris Schenkel Invitational 278-282-282    1987    Gamecock Invitational       284-283-280    1992    ImperiaLakes Classic        284-287-281    1993    NCAA East Regional          283-286-280            ACC Tournament              287-287-284    1998    Carpet Capital Classic      285-286-284            ACC Tournament              277-282-277

1998 Tigers Chasing All the Records The 1998 Clemson golf team is in the hunt for many school records. The most noteworthy is team stroke average. The Tigers have a 72.89 team stroke average (counting top four scores each round). That stroke average is ahead of the record pace set by the 1988-89 Tigers, a team that had a 72.61 average for the season. That club featured All-Americans Chris Patton and Kevin Johnson.

Only three teams in Clemson history have had lower than a 73.0 stroke average for an entire season. The others were 1992-93 (72.87), and 1991-92 (72.92). This years Clemson team has a record five players with averages under 73.00. Clemson might be the only school in the nation that can make that claim.

This Clemson team hs already set the school record for rounds in the 60s. This team has 30 this season, including 10 by Charles Warren and nine by Jonathan Byrd. The team also needs just two more individual Top 10 finishes to establish a school season record in that area and needs just three more under-par rounds to set the school record in that area. Clemson has 21 Top 10 finishes for individuals, the record is 22, and the mark for under-par rounds is 58 and this team has 56. The record for rounds at par or better should also go by the boards.

Records Set or in Range

    Category                Records, Year      1998    Stroke Average             72.61 (1989)    71.89    1st or 2nd place finishes   8 (1987)        7    Individual under par rounds 58 (1989)      56    Rounds par or better        78 (1989)      74    Individual Top 10 Finishes  22 many 21    Rounds in the 60s           27 (1989)      30

Warren Climbing up Career Charts Charles Warrens ACC Championship was his 21st top 10 finish as a Tiger, which him moved into a tie for second place in Clemson history in that category with Chris Patton. Kevin Johnson holds the record with 27 top 10 finishes in his career between 1985-89.

Warren is also moving up the career lists in terms of rounds in the 60s (21), a figure that is currently third behind Patton (30) and Kevin Johnson (22). Warren is also currently fourth in rounds of par or better (53) and fourth in rounds under par (41). he certainly enhanced his career stats at the ACC Tournament when he became the first player in Clemson history to have three rounds in the 60s in the same 54-hole tournament that involved a team competition. (Twice Chris Patton had three rounds in the 60s in the Sun Bowl All-American Tournament, but that was an individual event.)

Warrens 73.19 career stroke average is is fourth best in Clemson history, trailing only Chris Patton (72.71), Kevin Johnson (72.86), and current teammate Jonathan Byrd (73.13). Players must participate in 50 rounds to qualify.

Glover Joins Exclusive Company Freshman Lucas Glover joined an exclusive group of Clemson freshmen when he earned co-medalist honors at the Carpet Classic at the Farm April 3-5. Glover shot a 212 for the three rounds, a season best four-under-par. He fired consistent rounds of 69-71-72 in becoming just the second freshman in 11 years to win a tournament for the Tigers.

Glover became just the fifth freshman in Clemson history to win a tournament. Jimmy White won two events, the South Carolina Intercollegiate and the College of Charleston Invitational in 1974-75 as a freshman. Tony Nimmer won the South Carolina Intercollegiate in his freshman year, 1979-80. Chris Patton won co-medalist honors at the Gamecock Invitational in 1986-87, his freshman season. Teammate Jonathan Byrd won the Puerto Rico Classic last year as a freshman.

Glover is ahead of Pattons Clemsons freshman record of 73.55. Clemsons native of Greenville has a 72.958 average at the moment, so he is a full stroke better than Pattons mark.

Engler Leads nation in Greens in Regulation Clemson has two freshmen chasing Chris Pattons school record for stroke average by a rookie. John Engler out of Augusta, GA, has a 72.963 average, just 5-thousands of a stroke behind Glover. In fact, Engler and senior Joey Maxon have the exact stats this year, 1970 strokes in 27 rounds.

Engler has been one of the most consistent players in Clemson history, never mind for a freshman. Engler has hit 90.2 percent of his drives in the fairway, second in the country behind Jason Wyatt of Memphis (.905). Engler has reached the green in regulation 85.9 percent, first in the country by a wide margin. Rory Sabbatini of Arizona is second at 80.8 percent.

Engler is coming off his most significant performance of the year, a fifth place finish at the ACC Tournament. He shot a 209 score, seven under-par, the best performance vs. par in Clemson history for a freshman. He had consistent rounds of 69-70-70. It was his second top 10 finish of the season.

Maxon Showing Consistency Senior Joey Maxon has been Clemsons most consistent golfer of the spring. The native of Dover, DE has five top 16 finishes in his last seven tournament, including four top 10 finishes. He had a fifth-place finish at the BELLSOUTH and a sixth place finish at the Carpet Classic in March. He had a season low 215 for the three days at the Carpet Classic, his first under par tournament since the Carpet Classic in 1996. He shot an even par 216 at the ACC Tournament and finished 20th.

Maxon has had rounds of 75 or better in 20 of his last 22 trips around the course, including a season best 68 in the final round of the ACC Tournament, a score that helped Clemson to the team victory. He has been at 73 or under in 13 of his last 19 rounds.

Maxon started the streak with an eighth-place finish in Mauna Kea in December when he shot a 216 total in the last tournament of the fall. He had a 216 at Puerto Rico, Clemsons best score of the event, then had a 218 at the Golf Digest, good enough for 16th place.

Maxon has a 72.963 average for this year, improved over his 74.37 average of 1996-97. Maxon was an honorable mention All-American and first-team All-ACC selection as a sophomore. For his career, Maxon has a 74.13 average for 119 rounds and 42 tournaments. The BELLSOUTH was his 12th career top 10 finish, his second in succession. Twice this year he has had back to back top 10 tournaments. Maxon now has three under-par tournaments in his career, two have been at the Carpet Classic.

Byrd Has Seven Top 10 Finishes Jonathan Byrd, the native of Columbia, had his seventh Top 10 finish this season, best on the team, when he finished eighth at the ACC Tournament. He had a -6 score for the three days, 210, the low tournament of his career.

Four has been the number for Byrd this year as he has finished in fourth place, in four different tournaments.

At the Carpet Classic, Byrd had his second straight model of consistency showing. He had rounds of 73-71-70 after ronds of 70-69-71 at the Cuscowilla Invitational. Prior to that he was two-under par at the Golf Digest. For the entire academic year Byrd is just 17 over par, including +14 when he slumped to a season worst 230 at the BELLSOUTH.

Byrd is now second to Charles Warren in season stroke average with a 72.24 figure. Both are natives of Columbia. Byrd has nine rounds in the 60s second best on the Clemson team and already third in Clemson history for a single season. He has at 73.13 average for his career, third best in Clemson history.

Byrd is trying to become just the third player in Clemson history to average under 72.0 for a season. The only two to do it previously are Chris Patton and Dillard Pruitt. Patton had a 71.85 in 1988-89 and Pruitt had a 71.94 in 1983-84. Of course Charles Warren could also do it. Warren has a 71.78 figure that would be best in Clemson history if the season ended today.

Byrd has a 73.11 stroke average for his career and now has 13 Top 10 finishes in his 23 tournament career. He is among an elite few Clemson players who have finished in the top 10 in 50 percent of their tournaments.

    Clemson Career Stroke Average Leaders        (Minimum 50 rounds)    Rk  Name              Yrs    Rds Stks    Avg    1.  Chris Patton     1986-90 139 10,106  72.71    2.  Kevin Johnson    1985-89 147 10,711  72.86    3.  Jonathan Byrd    1996-98 71   5,192  73.13               4.  Charles Warren   1994-98 137 10,027  73.190    5.  Nicky Goetze     1989-93 159 11,638  73.194    6.  Richard Coughlan 1993-97 144 10,552  73.28    7.  Dillard Pruitt   1980-84 125  9,180  73.44    8.  Clarence Rose    1978-80 61   4,500  73.77    9.  Danny Ellis      1989-93 138 10,181  73.78

Penley Captures 37th Tournament Title Clemson head coach Larry Penley won his 37th career tournament as head coach of the Tigers when his squad won the ACC Tournament May 17-19 at Uwharrie, NC. It was a record setting showing as Clemsons -28 team score was best in ACC Tournament history and it was the lowest score (836) in Clemson history. Earlier this year, Clemson won the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate and the Carpet Classic. That latter tournament featured a field that had 11 of the top 20 teams in the nation.

Penley is in his 15th year as the head coach of the Tigers, so he is averaging over two tournament victories per season. For his career he has 37 first-place finishes and 34 second place finishes. That is 71 first or runner up finishes in 178 events.

With the invitation to the NCAA East Regional, Clemson has now been to 15 straight NCAA tournaments under Penley. Clemson has 11 top 20 finishes, including nine top 15 finishes in his career.