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Men’s Golf Wins Ridges Intercollegiate

September 23, 1998

Clemson Wins Ridges Intercollegiate Jonathan Byrd and Lucas Glover finished first and second, respectively, to lead Clemson to the championship of the Ridges Intercollegiate at The Ridges Golf and Country Club in Johnson City, TN September 12-13. It was the opening tournament of the season for Larry Penleys Tigers, who were fourth-ranked in the nation entering the event.

Clemson won the event by five shots over third-ranked Georgia Tech. The tournament featured 10 of the top 20 teams in the nation and 11 of the top 25 players in the country according to the MasterCard poll. The Tiger team shot a team score of 283 in the final round to take the title.

Oklahoma was third at 860, while Florida was fourth at 862. LSU and Texas tied for fifth at 867, while Houston and TCU tied for seventh at 872. Host school East Tennessee State was ninth at 873, while North Carolina rounded out the top 10 with a 887 score.

Clemsons team score of 844 tied for the third lowest 54-hole team score in school history. The record is 836 set last year at the ACC Tournament.

Byrd shot 54-hole score of 207 on the par 72, 7038-yard course. He had rounds of 67-70-70 in recording the nine-under-par score. It was his career best 54-hole score and his first tournament championship since his freshman year when he won the Puerto Rico Intercollegiate. He had 16 pars and two birdies in his final round in capturing the championship.

Glover had a 208 score, thanks to rounds of 67-72-69. It was his low tournament as a Tiger, better than his 212 score when he won the Carpet Classic last year as a freshman. His tournament included his first two collegiate eagles.

Sophomore John Engler was the third Tiger under par for the tournament with a 215 score, including an even-par 72 on Sunday. He finished 14th.

Senior Elliott Gealy finished 28th with a 220 score, four-over-par, while Luke Ferguson was 63rd at 230. Ferguson, playing in his first career tournament, had an even-par 72 to be a counter on Sunday.

Preview Next for Clemson Clemson will be in action on September 28-29 at The Preview at Hazeltine Country Club in Edina, MN. The course that has played host to many major events, is the scene of this years NCAA Championship in June (2-5). Each year there is a fall tournament that is played on the site of the following springs NCAA Championship.

Last year Clemson finished a ninth out of 15 teams at the Preview held in Albuquerque in perhaps its worst showing of the season. Of course, the Tigers came back strong to finish second at the NCAAs, losing only by three shots to National Champion UNLV, the closest Clemson has ever come to winning the National Championship. UNLV will be in the Preview field this year at Hazeltine.

Only two current Tigers played in the Preview last year, Jonathan Byrd and Lucas Glover. Glover had a 220 score and finished 35th, while Byrd was at 225 and was 55th. Both came back strong at the NCAAs in the Spring. Glover and Byrd both had 289 scores, just one over par for the 72-hole event.

Each of the last two years Clemson has come back strong at the NCAA Tournament after a disappointing fall performance on the same course. In 1996-97 Clemson was sixth in the Fall competition at Conway Farms, then finished third in the following spring. Last year Clemson went from ninth in the fall at The Preview, to second at the NCAA Championship.

Glover Set record at South Carolina amateur One of the highlights for Clemson golfers this summer was the play of Lucas Glover in the South Carolina State Amateur. The native of Greenville, SC shot a 14-under-par 266 for the event, breaking the tournament record of 11-under-par set by current Clemson coach Larry Penley in 1987.

Glover achieved the feat at the Heathland Course at the Legends Resort in Myrtle Beach the weekend of August 6-9. In doing so, Glover became just the second player to win both the SCGA Junior and SCGA Amateur Titles. Glover had rounds of 68, 66, 66 and 66 in breaking Penleys record.

Clemson teammate Jonathan Byrd finished third at the event, while Ben Duncan, a freshman on the Clemson team this year, was 18th.

Glover began his sophomore season at Clemson in grand style, finishing second at The Ridges Intercollegiate with a career best 208 score, a career best eight-under-par.

Clemson Among Best in Penley Era Larry Penley has been Clemsons golf coach since 1984 and in those 15 years he has seen his team finish the season at the NCAA National Tournament every year. Penley and Oklahoma State coach Mike Holder are the only coaches in the country to take the same team to the NCAA National tournament 15 years in a row.

During those 15 years Clemson has 13 top 20 finishes, the fourth best figure in the country for that time period. Clemson has 10 top 15 finishes since 1984, also the fourth best total. Clemson has finished in the Top four of the event each of the last two years and has four Final Four finishes under Penley, tied for fourth best in the nation over the last 15 years.

Penley was named ACC Coach of the Year in 1998, the third straight year he has won the award and his fourth award overall. Among his 38 tournament titles are five ACC Championships and three NCAA Regional titles.

Tigers to Compete in Rolex National Clemson has been selected as one of eight teams to participate in the 1998 Rolex National Intercollegiate Match Play Team Championships. The third annual event will take place October 31 through November 2 at Indian River Club in Vero Beach, FL.

This is the only match play event on the college schedule. The five members of each team will play singles matches against their opponents to determine the winning team. The winners advance, while losing teams will go into a consolation bracket. Each team is guaranteed three matches.

Clemson will be one of the favorites in the field. The Tigers finished second last year and Larry Penleys team will be making its third straight appearance in the event. Also chosen for the event are Oklahoma State, Houston, TCU, Georgia, Arizona State, Arizona and South Carolina. Every team in the field was ranked in the final top 10 last year.

Clemson has six tournaments this fall, tying for its most fall events in history. On September 28-29 Clemson will participate in The Preview at hazeltine Country Club in Edina, MN, the site of the NCAA Championships this year. On October 19-20 Clemson will be at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. The Rolex Match Play is the next event on the agenda, followed by the Palmetto Dunes/Golf World November 6-8.

The Fall concludes in Hawaii at the Mauna Key Invitational November 25-26. The Clemson golf team will be in Hawaii the same time the Tiger basketball team is in the Maui Invitational.

Tigers on Tour Clemson has two former players on the PGA Tour. Clarence Rose was an All-American at Clemson in 1980 and helped lead the Tigers to their first ever NCAA Tournament. Richard Coughlan is a rookie on tour after leading Clemson to four straight NCAA events, 1993-97, including a number-three finish in 1997.

Rose is 140th in earnings so far this year with $1466,981. He is 22nd on tour in sand saves with a 58 percent mark and has made 13 of 26 cuts so far this year. He is a 16-year veteran of the tour and went over $2 million in career earnings this year. His best finish this year was a 12th at the BellSouth Classic in Atlanta.

Coughlan is 19th on tour in driving distance this year with a 280 average. He is 14th in total driving. Coughlan has made 15 of 26 cuts this year and has earned $140,375. ranked 157th on tour. His best finish this year was took place last week when he was tied for ninth at the BC Open.

Both players have five tournaments left. This week the tour is in San Antonio, TX for the Westin Texas Open.

Tigers Seek 18th Straight NCAA Tournament Bid Clemson will be seeking its 18th consecutive NCAA National tournament appearance this year, the second longest active streak in the nation. Only Oklahoma State and its Cal Ripken-esk 52 consecutive years at the event is better.

The Tigers have been to every NCAA Tournament since 1982 and every year since 1980 with the exception of the 1981 event. Clemson did not make it to the NCAAs prior to 1980. The first Clemson team to qualify was led by current PGA player Clarence Rose.

The Tigers have been in the top 15 of the NCAA National Tournament eight of the last nine years, including a number-three and number-two finish the last two years, respectively. The only year in the 1990s that Clemson failed to make the cut was in 1995 at Ohio State. Only Arizona State and Oklahoma State have made every cut in the 1990s. Clemson and Florida are the only schools to have made eight of the nine cuts this decade.

Byrd Wins Ridges Intercollegiate Jonathan Byrd is the most experienced and decorated golfer on the Clemson team. He is the only player in Clemson history to earn first-team All-ACC honors as a freshman and a sophomore and thus has a chance to be Clemsons first four-time first-team All-ACC golfer. Of course, he still has two years and a lot of tournaments to go.

Byrd already ranks favorably in many statistical categories. His 72.94 career stroke average for 81 career rounds is third best in school history. Only Chris Patton (72.71), Kevin Johnson (72.86) and moved ahead of Charles Warren in his first tournament of the year.

Byrd is also already 12th in career rounds under par (30), 10th in Top 10 finishes (14), and fifth in rounds in the 60s (14). Last year as a sophomore he had nine rounds in the 60s, the third highest total for a season in Clemson history. His 72.325 stroke average was the sixth best in Clemson hisotry, while his 22 rounds at par or better ranked third best.

Byrd is ranked 16th in the nation in the MasterCard preseason golf rankings for individuals. He concluded last season ranked 28th in the nation. He should move up in the rankings after winning the Ridges Intercollegiate in the opening tournament of the year. His 207 score tied for the second best tournament in Clemson history. Only a 205 by Charles Warren at the ACC Tournament last year. The title was his first since his freshman season when he won the Puerto Rico Classic. That was his first Spring tournament as a Clemson golfer.

Clemson Fourth in Preseason Poll Clemson is ranked fourth in the nation in the MasterCard preseason Division I college golf poll. The Tigers trail only defending national champion UNLV, second-ranked Georgia and third-ranked and ACC foe, Georgia Tech. Clemson finished second in last years final poll after a second-place finish to UNLV in the National Tournament by just three shots. The Tigers have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll over the last three years.

Here is the list of the preseason top 25 by MasterCard: 1. UNLV, 2. Georgia, 3. Georgia Tech, 4. Clemson, 5. Oklahoma State, 6. Houston, 7. TCU, 8. Arizona State, 9. South Carolina, 10. Florida, 11. UCLA, 12. Minnesota, 13. Arizona, 14. North Carolina, 15. Arkansas, 16. New Mexico, 17. Oklahoma, 18. East Tennessee State, 19. Auburn, Ohio State, 21. Texas, 22. California, 23. Brigham Young, 24. Southern California, 25. NC State.