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Apr 22, 2021

Penley’s Tigers Head to Atlanta for ACC Tournament

Clemson, S.C.—Clemson, ranked in the top five in the nation in all three college golf rankings, will head to Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the 2021 ACC Men’s Golf Championship at the par 70 Capital City Club Crabapple Course. For the first time, the conference will use a format that includes stroke play and match play.

The 12 ACC teams will play 36 holes of stroke play on Friday, April 23, and 18 holes of stroke play on Saturday,  April 24.  The ACC individual champion will be crowned Saturday after the 54 holes of stroke play have been completed. The top four teams after the 54 holes of stroke play will advance to the semifinals of match play on Sunday. The championship will be determined on Monday,  April 26 when the two semifinal winners compete in a match play championship.   

Play will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Friday on the 7,319-yard course with teams starting on the front and back nines. The teams will play continuously for 36 holes. Clemson will be paired with players from Wake Forest and Florida State and will begin play between 8:30 a.m. and 9:18 a.m.

Clemson will be led to the ACC Tournament for the final time under head coach Larry Penley, who announced his retirement effective the end of this season.   The mentor in his 38th year is the ACC’s career leader in total tournament wins with 82.  That includes three this year, all coming this spring over the most recent four events.  Penley has won the ACC Championship nine times (eight outright, one tie), third in league history behind Jesse Haddock’s (Wake Forest) 15 and Bruce Heppler (Georgia Tech) 13.

Penley will bring a veteran lineup to the ACC Tournament, as his lineup will include three seniors and two juniors. All five Clemson players have ACC Tournament experience, but not on this course.   Clemson’s only appearance at the Capital City Crabapple Course was in 2010 at the NCAA Regional when the Tigers finished a strong second to Oklahoma State.

Bridgeman has a 69.33 stroke average, on pace to be the best in Clemson history and currently the second-best stroke average in the nation behind the 69.25 by North Florida’s Nick Gabreicik.   Bridgeman is ranked fourth in the nation according to Golfweek and 10th in Golfstat. He is fifth in the nation in scoring on par-four holes and sixth on par three holes. He has five top 10 finishes in his six tournaments this year, including two medalist honors.

Turk Pettit has the second-best stroke average on the team at 70.47 and has eight-under-par rounds, including five rounds in the 60s. Pettit is 14th in the nation according to Golfstat and 19th by Golfweek. He has four top 10 finishes in his five tournaments this year.

Colby Patton is the second member of his family to play in the ACC Tournament. His father, Chris,  was a three-time All-ACC player for the Tigers from 1987-90 and won the 1989 US Amateur. Colby is third on the team in scoring average with a 71.39 figure and is ranked 75th in the nation by Golfstat. Patton played in the 2018 and 2019 ACC Tournaments. His consistent rounds of 74-73-72 helped Clemson to a second-place finish in 2018.

Kyle Cottam is fourth on the team in stroke average with a 71.94 figure.  The senior who has indicated he will come back for a final year in 2022, has a pair of top 10s in 2021 and was Clemson’s top player at the John Hayt with a 208 score and second-place finish.

Zack Gordon rounds out the Clemson lineup at the ACC Tournament.  He has a 72.20 stroke average for the year but is coming off a strong third-place finish at the Collegiate Invitational at Birmingham Country Club.   Gordon shot 211 for the 54 holes to finish third in a field that included 20 of the top 100 players in the nation.


Clemson Lineup for ACC Tournament

  1. Jacob Bridgeman, Jr., Inman, SC, 69.33 avg., 4th Golfweek, 10th Golfstat
  2. Turk Pettit, Sr., Auburn, Ala, 70.47 avg.,   19th Golfweek,  14th Golfstat
  3. Colby Patton, #Sr, Fountain Inn, SC,  71.39 avg.,  103 Golfweek,  75th Golfstat
  4. Kyle Cottam, #Sr., Knoxville, Tenn, 71.94 avg.,   177 Golfweek, 176th Golfstat
  5. Zack Gordon, Jr., Gaffney, S.C., 72.20 avg. 223 Golfweek, 198 Golfstat

#Player plans to return next year as a result of an extra year of eligibility granted by NCAA from the pandemic.

Golf Coaches Association Ranking

(April 16, 2021)

1.Oklahoma, 2.  Florida State, 3.  Oklahoma State, 4.  Clemson,   5.  Texas, 6.  Wake Forest, 7.  Illinois, 8.  Pepperdine, 9.  NC State, 10.  Arizona State,  11.  Georgia, 12.  Texas A&M, 13.  Vanderbilt, 14.  Auburn,  15.  North Carolina,  16.  Liberty,  17.  Arizona, 18.  Florida,  19.  Tennessee,  20.  SMU, 21.  North Florida,  22.  Arkansas,  23.  Texas Tech, 24.  San Diego State, 25.  Notre Dame.


(Apr. 21, 2021)

  1. Oklahoma, 2.  Florida State, 3.  Oklahoma State, 4.  Wake Forest,  5.  Clemson,  6.  Pepperdine, 7.  Texas, 8.  Arizona State, 9.  Illinois,  10.  Vanderbilt, 11.  North Carolina,  12.  NC State, 13.  Georgia,  14.  Texas A&M,  15.  Liberty,  16.  SMU,  17.  Texas Tech.  18.  Auburn  19.  Arizona,  20.  Tennessee,  21.  Florida,  22.  North Florida,  23.  Arkansas,  24.  San Diego State,  25.  San Francisco


(Apr. 21, 2021)

1.Oklahoma,  2.  Florida State,  3.  Oklahoma State,  4.  Clemson,  5.  Wake Forest,  6.  Texas,  7.  Pepperdine,  8.  Illinois,  9.  Arizona State,  10.  NC State,  11.  Georgia,  12.  Auburn,  13.  Texas A&M,  14.  Liberty  15.  Vanderbilt,  16.  Florida,  17.  North Carolina,  18.  Tennessee,  19.   North Florida,  20.  SMU,  21.  Arizona,  22.  Texas Tech,  23.  Arkansas,  24.  LSU,  25.  San Diego State.

Clemson’s ACC Championship Seasons

1982 at Northgreen Country Club, Rocky Mount, NC;   1987 at Bryan Park, Greensboro, NC;  1988 at Cardinal Golf Club, Greensboro, NC;  #1990 at Northgreen Country Club, Rocky Mount, NC, 1997 Whitewater Country Club, Fayetteville, Ga.,  1998 at Old North State Club, New London, NC;  2000 at Old North State Club, New London, NC;  2003 at Old North State Club, New London, NC;   2004 at Old North State Club;  2016 at Old North State Club at New London, NC.

#Denotes co-champion with NC State