May 27, 2004
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Coach Penley/Player Quotes
Clemson’s NCAA Tournament History *Clemson won its first NCAA Golf championship in 2003 with a 39-over-par team score of 1191 at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, OK. Clemson won the event by two shots over host school Oklahoma State, a program that had won nine NCAA Tournament titles, including eight under current head coach Mike Holder. *The Tigers were one of the top three seeds heading into the event along with UCLA and Oklahoma State after winning the NCAA East Regional at Auburn, AL on May 17. Clemson defeated second-place Georgia Tech by nine shots, and fired a team score of 839, 25-under-par in claiming the victory. It was a Clemson record for an NCAA Regional and the 25-under-par figure was the eighth best team score vs. par in any tournament in Clemson history. *Clemson has advanced to the NCAA tournament each of he last 23 years the second longest active streak in the nation. Only Oklahoma State’s active streak of now 58 consecutive years is longer. *The 2004 season is the 21st straight year Larry Penley has taken the Tigers to the NCAA national event, the second longest streak in the nation behind Mike Holder’s (Oklahoma State) 31-year streak. *The streak actually began two years prior to Penley’s appointment. Former Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson coached the Tigers to the NCAA tournament in 1980, 1982 and 1983. The appearance in 1980 was Clemson’s first at the NCAA Tournament as a team. Clemson won its first ACC Tournament title in 1982, then had its first top five national finish in 1983, all under Robinson. *Clemson’s streak of 23 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances is the longest in Clemson athletic history, regardless of sport. Clemson has come out of the regional all 16 years the NCAA has had that format, including seven years in which it was regional champion (1993-94-95, 2000, 2002, 2003 and2004). Clemson now leads all schools nationally with seven regional titles, two more than Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma State. *The Tigers finished in the top 15 of the NCAA National Tournament in nine of the 10 years in the decade of the 1990s. That includes 1997 and 1998 when Clemson finished third and second, respectively. The only year in the 1990s that Clemson failed to make the cut was in 1995 at Ohio State. That was also the last time Clemson failed to make the cut at any portion of the tournament. *Clemson has finished in the top 20 of the national event 16 of the last 17 years, including nine top 10 finishes in the last 11 years. Overall, Clemson has had 20 top 20 finishes in its history. The Tigers have won the championship in 2003 and finished second in 1998 and 2001, to go with a third place ranking at Ohio State in 2002. Thus, Clemson has finished in the top three at this event five of the last seven years. *Clemson has a streak of seven straight top 10 finishes, tied for the longest streak of its kind in Clemson athletics history. The men’s soccer team (1973-79) and the men’s tennis program (1980-86) also had seven straight top 10s. If Clemson can get an eighth straight this year it would tie for the seventh longest streak of top 10 finishes in college golf history. Clemson has actually finished in the top eight seven straight years. Another top eight would give Clemson a tie for the fifth best streak of top eight finishes in Division I college golf history.
Penley Looks for Clemson Coaching RecordLarry Penley has a strong list of accomplishments since he came to Clemson as a member of the Tiger golf team as a student in 1977. With a top 25 finish at this week’s tournament, he will set a Clemson record for most top 25 seasons in a coaching career. Entering this weekend’s play, Penley has taken Clemson to a top25 season 19 times, all but one of his previous 20 years as head coach. He is currently tied for the record with former Clemson soccer coach Dr. I.M. Ibrahim, who had 19 between 1967-94.
Penley is currently second among all Clemson coaches in history in top 20 seasons with 17, two behind Ibrahim’s 19, and second as far as top 10 seasons with 10. Ibrahim had 14 top 10 seasons with the Clemson men’s soccer program. Penley is also second in top five finishes with seven. He still has a ways to go to catch Ibrahim in that area as the former Tiger soccer mentor had 13 top five finishes, including a pair of national championships.
Here are some other quick facts on Penley’s accomplishments: *Holds NCAA record for NCAA Regional Championships with seven, two more than any other coach. Has had a pair of NCAA Regional Championship “Three-Peats” *Has taken Clemson to eight ACC Championships, including 2003 and 2004. *First coach in history of college golf to take a Division I program to conference, NCAA Regional and NCAA National Championship in the same year. *Has won 56 tournaments in his 21 years as Clemson head coach. *Has finished in the top five in 193 of his 270 career tournaments, over 70 percent. *Has led Clemson to a top 10 finish each of the last seven years, tying for the longest streak of top 10s in Clemson athletics history. *Has been named ACC Coach of the Year six times, including each of the last two years (including 2004). *Named National Coach of the Year in 2003. *Inducted into the College Golf Hall of Fame in 2004, the first active coach in Clemson history to be inducted into a Hall of Fame. *Has coached United States Public Links Champions Kevin Johnson (1987) and D.J. Trahan (2000), US Amateur Champion Chris Patton (1989) and NCAA Champion Charles Warren (1997). *An accomplished golfer, he was a first-team All-ACC selection as a senior in 1981 when he had five top 10 finishes, including a pair of victories. Played on Clemson’s first NCAA Tournament team in 1980.
Clemson Wins Seventh Regional Clemson won its seventh regional championship with its six-shot victory over Penn State at the NCAA East Regional on May 22. It also marked the third straight year Clemson has won the event, the second “Three-Peat” for Larry Penley’s team. Clemson also won the tournament in 1993-94-95. Ironically, the third win in the streak was recorded each time at the Yale Course in New Haven, CT. Clemson finished off its three-peat with an 857 score in 1995 and had an 856 score in 2004. With its seven regional crowns, Clemson is the NCAA record holder in that area. Arizona, Arizona State and Oklahoma State all have five apiece, while Georgia Tech has four. Texas, UNLV and Oklahoma all have three. The NCAA regional format began in 1989.
Clemson Looks For Repeat Clemson will be looking to repeat as NCAA golf champion when it travels to The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA June 1-4. No program has repeated as NCAA Golf Champion since Houston did it in 1984-85. In fact, that is the only time a program has gone back-to-back since 1976. Wake Forest also did it in 1974-75.
Eight different schools have won the national championship over the last eight years. Arizona State won in 1996, Pepperdine in 1997, UNLV in 1998, Georgia in 1999, Oklahoma State in 2000, Florida in 2001, Minnesota in 2002 and Clemson last year. Overall, the ACC has won four NCAA Championships. Wake Forest took the title in 1974, 1975 and 1986 in addition to Clemson’s victory in 2003.Tigers In National Event for 23rd Straight Year Clemson will be making its 23rd straight trip to the NCAA National Tournament this year, the longest string of any Clemson athletic team in history. The Tigers qualified for the national tournament by virtue of its victory at the NCAA East Regional May 20-22. The top 10 teams advanced for that regional and the Tigers did so with ease, winning the event by six shots over Penn State.
Clemson’s streak of 23 straight tournament bids is second to Oklahoma State’s 58. The Cowboys are also in the field of 30 teams, having qualified after finishing second at the Central Regional to champion Kentucky.
Clemson will begin defense of its national championships at the par 70, 6679-yard Cascades Course at The Homestead with tee times starting at 12 noon on Tuesday, June 1 and starting at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, June 2. Tee times for the final two rounds are based on team standings at that point in the tournament.
This is Larry Penley’s 21st year as Clemson head coach and he has taken the Tigers to the NCAA National tournament all 21 years. His Tigers are ranked second in the nation in the latest polls according to the Golf Coach’s Association and the Sagarin Computer rankings.
This year’s Clemson team is finishing strong, having won the ACC Tournament and the East Regional in its last two outings. The Tigers have competed in 13 tournaments (12 stroke play and one match play) and finished in the top four 11 of those 13 events. Among the top four finishes was a third-place standing out of 15 teams at The Preview on September 22-23.
Leading the way from a stroke average standpoint is Matt Hendrix. A May, 7 2004 graduate and native of Aiken, SC, Hendrix has a 70.94 stroke average for his 32 rounds, an average that is on pace to be the third best in Clemson history for a single season. He has scored under-par in 19 of those 32 rounds, including a team best 11 rounds in the 60s. A first-team All-ACC selection each of the last two years, Hendrix was a finalist for the 2004 Ben Hogan Award. He is 10th according to the latest Sagarin rankings.
Jack Ferguson, a junior from Seneca, has a 71.34 stroke average this year for his 35 rounds of competition. Ferguson had been Clemson’s most consistent golfer prior to the NCAA East Regional, but a back ailment limited his effectiveness at Yale and he finished 51st, his worst finish in 25 tournaments. But, with 10 days in between events, Ferguson should be back to top form for the national tournament. For the season, Ferguson has a 71.34 stroke average and is ranked 17th in the nation according to the latest rankings. His 72.03 career stroke average is fourth best in school history. He has 10 top 20 finishes for his 12 events this year.
Gregg Jones is a third first-team All-ACC selection on this year’s team that will be competing in the NCAA national. The native of Florence will be starting in his four NCAA national tournament, the only active Tiger who can make that statement. . He has a chance to become the first athlete in any sport in Clemson history to play on four different top three teams. Jones is coming off a 14th place finish at the NCAA regional, including a 66 in the final round that tied for the low round by an individual in the 141-player field. He has a 72.71 stroke average for this year and his 72.64 career average is seventh best in school history. Jones was Clemson’s top golfer at the Preview at the Homestead back in the fall with a 141 total, good enough for fifth place individually.
Stephen Poole has been the surprise of the year. A sophomore who had never played in an event prior to this season, the native of Spartanburg has a 72.56 stroke average for his six tournaments. He has three top 10 finishes and was a strong contributor to Clemson’s East Region Championship with a 218 score.
Brent Delahoussaye is the final player in Clemson’s lineup. The junior is coming off a number-four finish at the NCAA East Regional, his best finish in his 29 tournament career. He had a 211 score, just four strokes short of Bill Haas’s winning total, and best by a Clemson golfer by three shots. He played in just one event since March 22nd. For the year, Delahoussaye has played in 10 tournaments and has a 73.93 stroke average. He finished ninth at the Preview at the Homestead in the Fall.
Last Year in ReviewTigers are National ChampionsMay 30, 2003 Jack Ferguson, playing in the final group of the tournament, made a par five on the final hole, clinching Clemson a two-shot victory and its first ever National Championship.
With the victory Clemson became the first school in NCAA history to win its conference championship, NCAA regional title and National Championship in the same year. It was Clemson’s first NCAA Championship in any sport since the fall of 1987 when Clemson won the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. It was the school’s fourth team National Championship overall.
Clemson also won the 1984 NCAA Soccer championship and the 1981 college football National Championship. It was the 54th tournament victory of Larry Penley’s 20-year Clemson coaching career, but his first NCAA title.
The Tigers won the title by just two shots over host school Oklahoma State, who had won nine previous championships, including eight under current head coach Mike Holder, all within the last 30 years. Clemson finished with a 72-hole total of 1191, 39-over-par. The Tigers were two strokes better than the host Cowboys, who were 41 over. UCLA finished third with an 1197 total, while Wake Forest and Florida tied for fourth at 1198. The ACC was well represented as, North Carolina finished ninth at 1216, Georgia Tech was 11th at 1218 and NC State was 15th at 1224.
Ferguson, a sophomore playing in his first NCAA national tournament, finished the tournament in 19th-place with a 298 total after a final round 77. Trahan finished 22nd, his fourth top 25 NCAA national tournament finish, the only player in Clemson history to achieve that. He had a 299 total after his team best 74 in the final round that included a birdie on the final hole. Matt Hendrix and Gregg Jones were both tied for 35th at 303, while Ben Duncan had a 309 total and tied for 52nd.
Clemson and Oklahoma State started the day just one stroke apart. The Cowboys immediately took the lead after just three holes, as Clemson struggled at the outset. Clemson’s first three players all fell behind their Oklahoma State playing partners. Clemson trailed by four strokes with its number-five player, Duncan, approaching the ninth tee.
But, Duncan started a birdie barrage. In all, Clemson players who had their score count on Friday were four-under-par on that hole. Overall, Clemson was six-under as a team on the eighth and ninth holes combined, turning a four-shot deficit into a four-shot lead. Oklahoma State tied the count many times over the next four holes, as there were scoring swings on virtually every hole.
Clemson finally got a six-shot advantage with just two holes to play. Clemson was 37 over for the tournament and Oklahoma State was 43 over with Jack Ferguson playing the 17th hole. But, Ferguson, who entered the event first in the nation in fewest double bogeys per round, double bogeyed the hole when he drove his ball in the rough. When Oklahoma State’s Hunter Mahan birdied the same hole, the margin was cut in half.
Mahan had eagled the 18th hole the last two days. With that in mind, Clemson needed a par from Ferguson to clinch the team title. With over 1000 people lining the fairway and by the green, Mahan hit his approach shot to within 15 feet for eagle. Ferguson hit his second shot 70 yards short of the green. But, his third shot was to within 18 feet. Ferguson’s approach putt came six inches to the left of the cup. After Mahan missed his eagle attempt, Ferguson tapped in to give the Tigers a two-shot victory.
The Tigers had a 303 team score on Friday, ironically, its high team score of the season. It was just the second time in the last 66 team rounds that Clemson failed to break 300, but it was good enough on the difficult Karsten Creek Course. Trahan showed his mental toughness for the second straight day. He had played the first eight holes on Thursday in three over par before finishing at even par 72. On Friday, he was four over after eight, but got his score back to a team best 74 thanks to a birdie at 18, his final college hole.
Gregg Jones had gotten off to a poor start all week, but birdied the first hole on Friday. He played consistently throughout, including a solid par on the difficult 17th hole. He finished with a 75 for the third time his four rounds on the Karsten Creek 7301 yard layout.
Matt Hendrix struggled on Friday with an 80, but his score counted three of the tour rounds, including a 69 on Thursday, the low round of the event by a Clemson golfer, the only round in the 60s. Ben Duncan fired a 77 to go with Ferguson’s 77. After an opening 85, Duncan’s score counted towards the Clemson team total each of the last three rounds.
The victory was the sixth win of the year for the Tigers, a single season record. Four previous Clemson teams had won five tournaments The victory also marked the fifth time in the last seven years that Clemson had finished higher in the final NCAA tournament than Oklahoma State. Clemson is now 18-6 against the Cowboys in head to head competition over the last four years, including 2-0 at the Cowboys home course.
Tigers Finish Third at PreviewSeptember 23, 2003 Clemson, SC–Gregg Jones and Brent Delahoussaye both finished in the top 10 individually at The Preview, leading Clemson to a third place finish at the 15-team event. The tournament held at the Cascades Course at the Homestead was shortened to 36 holes due to inclement weather on Monday.
Jones shot a 72 on Tuesday to finish at 141 for the 36 holes, good enough for fifth place. The course proved to be difficult for the 75 golfers, as just two players were under par for the tournament. Jones first round 69 was the only round under par by a Clemson golfer in the tournament. Delahoussaye shot a team best 70 on Tuesday and finished with a 142 total, two-over-par and good enough for ninth. It was his first top 10 finish as a Clemson golfer.
Clemson had the lead after the first day and held a five-shot lead with nine holes to play in the second round. But, the Tigers struggled over holes 10-15. After playing the first nine holes at two under par as a team, the Tigers played the back nine in 10-over-par. Clemson went from a five-shot lead on the field, including a nine-shot lead over UCLA, to three shots behind the champion Bruins, who had a two-under-par team score for the back nine.
UCLA won the event with a 572 score, 12-over-par. Georgia Tech, who had a tournament best 276 team score on Tuesday, finished second at 573. Clemson and Florida were tied for third at 575. It marked the 20th straight tournament in which Clemson had finished in at least the top three. Georgia was fifth at 577, while Augusta State was sixth at 578. UNLV, Wake Forest and North Carolina were tied for seventh at 582. Matt Hendrix were tied for 28th place individually with 146 totals. Both players had rounds of 73 each day. Ferguson made the turn on Tuesday in two-under-par, but shot a five-over-par 40 on the back side. He was six-over-par from holes 10-15. Sophomore Brian Duncan shot a 75 on Tuesday and finished at 148 for the two days, eight-over par and tied for 38th.
2003-04 Among Clemson Stroke Average Leaders Clemson’s 2003-04 team has a 71.69 team stroke average, a mark that would be fifth best in school history if the season ended today. The all-time record is 71.318 set in 1999-00, just a shade better than the 71.321 achieved by last year’s team. Believe it or not, the 2002-03 National Championship team missed establishing the new record by just two total strokes over the entire year. That was about the only thing last year’s team did not achieve.
Clemson vs. 2004 NCAA Tournament Field Clemson always plays one of the toughest schedules in the nation. That is reflected in the list of teams at this year’s NCAA national tournament. Clemson has already played in tournaments featuring 23 of the other 29 teams in the national tournament. Clemson has a 64-18-1 record against the other 29 teams. Only Florida and UCLA have a stroke average advantage and a winning record against Clemson among the teams in the field.
For a complete rundown of Clemson against the field head to head see the against all competition page in the stats package.
Entire Roster from South Carolina Clemson’s entire roster for the 2003-04 academic year is from the state of South Carolina. It is an indication of the quality of junior golf in the state and an indication of the success Larry Penley has had with high school talent that is just a “drive and a nine iron” from the Clemson campus.
The five players participating in this year’s national tournament include Greenville, SC native Gregg Jones, Aiken, SC native Matt Hendrix, Spartanburg, SC native Stephen Poole and Seneca, SC native Jack Ferguson. The only player on Clemson’s 10-man roster who is not originally from South Carolina is Martin Catalioto, who played in one event this year. He grew up in New Jersey, but his family now lives in Hilton Head. He was a starter on Clemson’s third ranked Tiger team of 2002.
Clemson head coach Larry Penley has made a habit of recruiting local talent. A look to Clemson’s top players on the pro circuit and top former players include Lucas Glover (Greenville), and D.J. Trahan (Inman).
Clemson Chasing First NCAA Title Since 1987 Clemson has four national team championships in its history. Clemson’s most recent title took place last year when it won its first ever golf national championship. That was Clemson’s first team title since 1987 when it won its second men’s soccer title. Clemson also won the soccer championship in 1984.
Clemson’s only other national championship in any sport took place in 1981 when Clemson won the national championship of college football with a 22-15 win over Nebraska in the Orange Bowl. That victory closed out a perfect 12-0 season. Clemson was the only 12-0 team of college football that year.
Clemson Attempts Championship Triple…Again Clemson became the first team in college golf history to win its conference championship, NCAA regional championship and NCAA Championship when it won all three titles last season. UCLA also had the opportunity last year, but came in third to Clemson. The Bruins are entering this championship after winning the West regional. Clemson has already won the ACC and East Regional championships this year so Clemson can do it again this year.
Jones Records Fourth top 15 at Regional Clemson graduate Gregg Jones finished 14th at the NCAA East Regional with a 214 score. That included a final round 66, tying for the low individual score of the 141-player event. Jones had Larry Penley walk with him for the 18 holes, something that was successful the previous year. For some reason Jones always plays better under Penley’s watchful eye.
By finishing 14th, Jones became the first player in Clemson history to finish in the top 15 in four consecutive regional tournaments. Jones had a 10th place finish at the 2001 regional at the Green Course in Williamsburg, VA. He had rounds of 71-68-71 to finish at six-under-par 210. He was Clemson’s top golfer for the event on a team that included current PGA Tour player Lucas Glover and current Nationwide Tour player D.J. Trahan.
The following year at Settindown Creek in Roswell, GA, Jones had a 220 score to finish in 13th place after rounds of 71-73-76. He was second among Clemson golfers and help the Tigers to a co-championship of the regional. In the 2003 at the East Regional at Auburn, Jones again led the Tigers with a 208 score on rounds of 69-72-67. He finished second overall and Clemson won the event, tying for his highest finish ever in a college event.
Jones has also played well at the national. He already has three top 40 finishes, including a 17th place finish in 2002 at Ohio State. Jones has been a starter Clemson’s second place team of 2001 at Duke, the third place team of 2002 at Ohio State and the national championship team of last year. If Clemson can get a top three finish at The Homestead, Jones would be the first student-athlete in any sport in Clemson history to start on four different teams that finished in the top three in the nation.
Hendrix, Jones Earn Degrees Clemson golfers Matt Hendrix and Gregg Jones both earned their undergraduate degrees from Clemson on May 7. Hendrix earned his degree in economics, while Jones earned his in parks, recreation and tourism management. Hendrix was named to the CoSIDA Academic At-Large All-District team last year. That team has not been announced yet this year.
Most of Larry Penley’s players have stayed four years and received their degrees. In fact, in Penley’s 21 years as head coach the only golfer to leave early to attempt a professional career is Michael Hoey, who returned to his native Ireland.
Among Penley’s former Tigers who are playing professionally after having earned a Clemson degree are, Jonathan Byrd, Danny Ellis, Kevin Johnson, Charles Warren, Joey Maxon, Jani Saari, Tommy Biershenk, Elliot Gealy, Richard Coughlan, Ben Duncan. Byrd was a two-time academic All-American in addition to his on the course All-America honors.
Clemson at The Homestead This will be Clemson’s third trip in history to The Cascades Course at the Homestead. Clemson has a second-place finish and a third-place finish in its previous two trips. Earlier this year Clemson was third out of 15 teams at The Preview, scoring a 15 over-par score of 575. Clemson’s only other appearance at the course was in 1997 when it finished second out of 23 teams at the NCAA East Regional. Clemson played the course in 36 over par to score 876 for the three rounds. Clemson had rounds of 295-289-292 in finishing second to Auburn that year. Clemson was led by Charles Warren, who finished third overall, and Joey Maxon, who was eighth. Warren went onto win the national championship at Conway Farms near Chicago that year.
Delahoussaye Records Career Best Finish Clemson junior Brent Delahoussaye shot a one-over-par 211 and finished fourth individually to lead Clemson to the NCAA East Region championship at the Course at Yale. The fourth place finish was the best finish of Delahoussaye’s 29-tournament career. That includes his first two years, which were spent at South Carolina.
Prior to he regional, Delahoussaye had just two top 10 finishes in his collegiate career. He was eighth at the Mercedes Benz Intercollegiate as a freshman in 2000-01 and was ninth at the Preview earlier this year.
It was quite an improvement for Delahoussaye, who had finished 75th out of 90 golfers at the Augusta State Invitational in his most recent outing. The native of Greenville had rounds 70-72-69 in his most consistent tournament of the year. His 70 in the first round tied for best among Clemson golfers, as did his 72 in the second round. It marked the fourth and fifth rounds this year in which he had recorded or tied for the best round by a Clemson golfer.
Tigers with NCAA National Experience Four of Clemson’s five golfers at the NCAA Tournament this week have had NCAA national tournament experience. As stated above, Gregg Jones will be starting in his fourth NCAA, while Matt Hendrix will be in his third. Jack Ferguson and Brent Delahoussaye will be appearing in their second.
Hendrix finished 86th at Ohio State in 2002 with a 294 score. He had rounds of 77-71-70-76 in recording his 10-over-par score on the par 71 course. Last year he finished 35th with a 303 score on rounds of 76-78-69-80. His 69 in the third round was the low round of the tournament for a Clemson golfer.
Ferguson played in his first NCAA national tournament in 2003 and finished 19th at the tournament with a 298 score. That was the best finish for the Tigers, and it was Ferguson who made a six-inch-putt to clinch the national championship for the Tigers. Delahoussaye’s NCAA Tournament experience came as a freshman when he had rounds of 75-74 for a 149 total at Duke’s University Course. The South Carolina team failed to make the cut for the last two rounds, so Delahoussaye played just two rounds at that event and did not have final individual finish.
Stephen Poole will be the only Clemson golfer in the lineup who has not played in a national NCAA tournament. He finished 29th out of 141 golfers at the NCAA regional.
Clemson Seeking 8th Straight top 10 Finish Clemson will be seeking its eighth straight top 10 finish at the NCAA golf championship when it begins play at The Homestead. If Clemson can record a top 10 finish it would break the school record for consecutive top 10 finishes in any sport. In addition to the Clemson golf team’s current streak, the men’s tennis program had seven straight top 10s from 1980-86, and the men’s soccer team had a seven-year streak from 1973-79.
Clemson has actually finished in the top three in the nation three straight years. The Tigers were second at Duke in 2001, third at Ohio State in 2002 and first at Oklahoma State in 2003. Gregg Jones started on all three of those Clemson teams. If the Tigers can get another top three finish this year, Jones would be the first athlete in Clemson history to start on four different top three Clemson teams in any sport.
Three Clemson Players Named All-ACCPenley Named Coach of the Year for Sixth Time Clemson, SC–Clemson golfers Matt Hendrix and Jack Ferguson were named to the ACC’s All-conference team on May 4. Additionally, Clemson head coach Larry Penley was named the league’s Coach of the Year.
Clemson, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest all had three selections to the All-ACC team. It marked the eighth time in the last nine years that Clemson has had at least three players named to the 12-man team. It was the third year in a row that Jones had been selected, the second year in a row for Hendrix and Ferguson.
Hendrix leads the Clemson team in stroke average this year with a 70.83 figure. He has finished in the top 10 in six of his 10 events and has a team best 19 rounds under par. The native of Aiken, SC won the Puerto Rico Classic in February and the Augusta State Intercollegiate in April. A member of the 2003 United States Walker Cup team, Hendrix is a finalist for the Ben Hogan Award. He is currently ranked ninth in the nation by the Sagarin computer ranking.
Jones has a 72.84 stroke average this year for 11 tournaments. The native of Florence, SC has three top 10 finishes and 13 rounds at par or better. His final round 69 was a key to Clemson’s ACC Tournament championship this year. If Clemson can finish in the top three at the NCAA Tournament this year he will become the first Clemson athlete in history to start on four teams that finished in the top three in the nation.
Ferguson is a junior from Seneca, SC and has been Clemson’s most consistent golfer this year. He has finished in the top 20 in 10 of his 11 events, including four top six finishes. He had a 10-under-par 206 at the ACC Tournament, Clemson’s low score. He also finished third at the Atlanta Intercollegiate when he shot a 208 for the three rounds. His 71.09 stroke average is second best on the Clemson team. He is currently ranked as the 11th best collegiate golfer in the nation by the Sagarin computer ranking.
All three of Clemson’s All-ACC selections are ranked in the top seven in Clemson history in career stroke average. Ferguson is fourth (71.97), Hendrix is fifth (72.18) and Jones is seventh (72.67). Clemson is off until May 20-22 when it will compete in the NCAA Tournament at a regional site to be announced on May 10.
Penley was named ACC Coach of the Year for the sixth time. He was also selected in 1987, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 2003. He guided Clemson to the ACC Championship last month, the second straight year and eighth time the Tigers have won the league title under his direction. The ACC tournament victory was Penley’s 55th as Clemson head coach.
Clemson Second in Both Golf Polls Heading into NCAAs Clemson is ranked second in the nation in both major collegiate golf polls heading into national play. The Tigers are second to Florida in both the Sagarin Computer ranking and the GCAA (Golf Coaches Association of America). Clemson has been ranked second in the nation according to both polls since the Fall. The Sagarin poll includes the NCAA regional tournaments, but the GCAA was last taken prior to the regional.
Hendrix has Two Wins in 2004 Clemson senior Matt Hendrix already has two tournament victories on his resume this year. Both took place in the Spring season. The native of Aiken, SC had never won a tournament prior to this spring, and now is just the second Clemson golfer in the last seven years to win at least two in the same academic year. D.J. Trahan was the last to do it, as the current Nationwide Tour pro won three events as a junior in 2001-02. Overall, seven different Clemson players have won at least two tournaments in one season. Kevin Johnson and Chris Patton did it twice apiece. Another win for Hendrix would make him the second player in Clemson history to win three times in one year. The only Tiger to accomplish this feat is D.J. Trahan, who won three tournaments in 2001-02.
It is interesting to note that one of the seven Clemson players do win at least two events in the same year is Clemson head coach Larry Penley, who won the Iron Duke Classic and the Southeastern Intercollegiate in 1980-81.
Hendrix won two events, both this spring with the same score, 207. He had rounds of 70-67-70 to shoot 207 in winning the Puerto Rico Classic on Feb. 22-24 by one shot. He then captured the Augusta State Invitational with rounds of 72-67-68 for a 207 score on April 4. He had to win a playoff over Nathan Smith of Duke to win at Augusta. Hendrix is from nearly Aiken, SC, so his entire family watched him win that tournament.
Hendrix is not the first All-American to come to Clemson from Aiken, SC. It is also the home of William and Michael Dean Perry, who both led Clemson to prominence on the gridiron in the 1980s.
Poole has Three Top 10 Finishes One player who has had a major impact on Clemson this Spring is sophomore Stephen Poole. The native of Spartanburg, SC had never played in a tournament prior to his year. He debuted at The Ridges Tournament in Johnson City, TN in the fall and shot a consistent 226 to finish 55th. He got the opportunity when Matt Hendrix was out of the lineup to recover after the long trip to the Walker Cup.
Poole then returned to the lineup at the Schenkel in the spring and shot an even par 216, the top Clemson performer in the event. He finished 10th individually. He followed that with a sixth-place finish at the Atlanta Intercollegiate after rounds of 73-67-70 for a 210 total. He then finished sixth at the ACC tournament with another 210 score. That gave Poole three top 10 events in his first five outings as a Tiger and three of four in the spring.
Poole is the first Clemson golfer to record two top 10s within his first three events since Michael Hoey did it in the fall of 1998. Hoey finished sixth at the Jerry Pate and ninth at the Golf World in his first two events as a Clemson freshman in the fall of 1998. Poole has played 18 rounds this year and his score has counted towards Clemson’s team score 16 times. He had a solid performance in his first NCAA event, as he finished 29th with a 218 score, including an opening 70 that tied for the team’s best score that day.
Three Current Tigers in top 10 in Career Average List Three current Clemson golfers rank in the top seven in Clemson history in career stroke average. The list below includes golfers who have played at least 50 rounds for the Tigers. Jack Ferguson is first among the current Tigers with a 72.03, fourth best in school history overall and just .08 behind the average of current PGA Tour player Matt Hendrix, who has played 108 career rounds, stands fifth with a 72.18 figure, while classmate Gregg Jones is seventh at 72.64.
Three Clemson Golfers on Hogan Award Watch ListHendrix, Ferguson and Jones Candidates for National Award March 25, 2004 Clemson, SC–Clemson golfers Matt Hendrix, Jack Ferguson and Gregg Jones were all among 34 NCAA Division I, II or III golfers named to the Watch List for the 2004 Ben Hogan Award. The Award is presented by the Friends of Golf and Colonial Country Club of Fort Worth, TX in cooperation with Bank of America and the Collegiate Golf Coach’s Association.
The award, named in honor of golfing legend Ben Hogan, takes into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the previous 12 months. Clemson and UCLA were the only schools with three players on the 2004 Watch List.
Hendrix, a senior from Aiken, SC, won the Puerto Rico Classic with a 207 score February 24 and has the top stroke average on the Clemson team this year. He won the Sunnehanna Amateur and was a member of the United States Walker Cup team.
Ferguson, a junior from Seneca, SC, is second on the team in stroke average. He has five top 10 finishes this year, including a fifth-place at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA last fall and a second place at the ACC tournament in the spring. Jones, a senior from Florence, SC, has three top 10 finishes including a season best third-place at the North Florida Collegiate. He also won the Jones Cup in 2003.
Penley Named Head Coach of United States Palmer Cup TeamFerguson Named to Team March 22, 2004 Clemson, SC–Clemson Head Golf Coach Larry Penley has been named the head coach of the United States team in the 2004 Palmer Cup presented by Monster announced the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA). This annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played at Ballybunion Golf Club in County Kerry, Ireland, August 6-7.
The 2003 Eaton Golf Pride Dave Williams National Coach of the Year and a recent inductee into the GCAA Coaches Hall of Fame, Penley has spent the past 20 years as the head coach of the Clemson golf program. He led the Tigers to the 2003 NCAA Championship and his teams have finished in the top five seven times and in the top 20 on 17 occasions. Penley’s squads have also won seven ACC titles and six NCAA Regional crowns.
Penley has coached 46 All-Americans – including 13 first-team selections – and 10 All-America Scholars. He has been named the ACC Coach of the year and District Coach of the Year five times each. In 2003, Penley’s Tigers became the first program in NCAA history to win its conference, regional and national championship in the same year. Clemson was the nation’s top-ranked team by the Precept Coaches poll the entire 2003 season and captured a school record six team titles. The Tigers are currently ranked third in the nation.
“I am honored to serve as the United States coach of the Palmer Cup team,” said Penley. “It has been a very rewarding last 12 months for our program at Clemson and for me personally and this certainly adds to it because this is annually one of the top amateur golf events in the world. Coaching a United States team at an event named in honor of Arnold Palmer is one of the greatest honors I can experience as a golf coach
“We have had seven former players participate in this event and they all said it was one of the highlights of their amateur careers. To have the Palmer Cup matches at Ballybunion, one of the top courses in the world will only add to the experience. I accept this appointment with great pride.” Penley has played the Ballybunion course previously, on a vacation in 1999 with former Clemson golfers, and he shot a 66. The U.S. team leads the Palmer Cup Series, 4-2-1.
Penley Inducted into GCAA Hall of Fame Clemson golf coach Larry Penley was inducted into the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame in Orlando, FL on January 28, 2004. The induction ceremonies were conducted at the GCAA Hall of Fame. Penley is the first coach in any Clemson sport to be inducted into a hall of fame while he was still coaching at Clemson.
Penley joins former Clemson football coaches John Heisman, Frank Howard and Jess Neely to be named to a national Hall of Fame as a coach. Penley was one of three golf coaches inducted this week. The others were Herb Page of Kent State and Fred Warren of East Tennessee State.
The GCAA Hall of Fame began in 1980. Selection criteria not only includes a coach’s record on the golf course, but his contributions to the game, student-athletes and school.
“This is a great honor,” said Penley. “It is a reflection of our players and the program in general. I can’t say enough about the players and the families we have had in our program over he years. I just happen to be the guy who has reaped the benefits.
“I don’t feel like a Hall of Fame coach,” said Penley, who is just 44-years-old. ” I still have a lot to accomplish.” Penley led the Tigers to the school’s first National Champion in 2003. He was named the Eaton Golf Pride Dave Williams National Coach of the Year. He led the Tigers to victories in the ACC tournament, the NCAA East Regional and the NCAA Championships, the first coach to win his conference, regional and national tournaments in the same year.
The 1984 Clemson graduate and former All-ACC golfer for the Tigers has guided Clemson to eight ACC titles, and six NCAA regional championships and 55 tournament titles overall. His teams have finished in the final top five of the NCAA Tournament seven times and he has had 17 top 20 finishes in his 20 seasons at the helm. He has been named ACC Coach of the Year six times and NCAA District Coach of the Year five times.
Clemson Golf Last Five Seasons How good has Clemson been the last five years? Just look at the record in terms of wins and winning percentage. Clemson has 14 wins over the last five years in 64 tournaments. There have been 18 other tournaments in which Clemson has finished second, meaning the Tigers have finished first or second in nearly 50 percent of their events the last five seasons. Clemson has 47 top three finishes in the last five years and 57 top fives. Seventy-three percent of the time Clemson has finished among the top three.
In terms of overall winning percentage in stroke play tournaments, Clemson has a .873 mark for the last five years combined. That includes the incredible 183-8-3 record turned in by last year’s National Championship team that finished in the top two in 13 of the 14 events.
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