Overview: In his fourth year as a starter for Larry Penley’s Tigers in 2020-21….has career stroke average of 72.58 with five top 10 finishes…has 15 career rounds in the 60s…has 27 rounds under-par and 10 more at par…has 276 career birdies, second among active Tigers entering the 2020-21 season…veteran of 83 rounds from 27 tournaments…has eight career eagles, more than any other active Tiger…has career best 66, twice, including his freshman year at Golf Club of Georgia….played in Sun Bowl All-American Tournament in El Paso in November of 2019 and finished 18th…. exploded on national scene at 2019 NCAA National Tournament in Arkansas, as he finished in 11th place, best among Clemson golfers by eight shots…received honorable mention All-America honors for that 11th place finish…shot 291, three-over-par for his 72 holes…Clemson’s best player in three of the four NCAA National Tournament rounds after not having the best score in any round prior to Arkansas…starter each of the last three years for teams that have finished in the top 15 in the nation.…fourth on the team in stroke average as a freshman, third as a sophomore and fifth as a junior…but his stroke average was over a stroke better per round than previous year…had 72.91 stroke average as a freshman and 72.79 as a sophomore and 71.76 as a junior… played in every round for the Tigers as a freshman and 28 as a sophomore…played in 21 rounds as a junior, 18 for the Clemson team …in the lineup for each of the last five tournaments in spring of 2019…. one of three freshman starters on Clemson’s 2018 NCAA National Tournament team … brother Kole was starting catcher for University of Kentucky baseball team and ranked among the top home run hitters in college baseball in 2018…Kole now playing in the Red Sox organization, he was in nearby Greenville, SC in spring and summer of 2019.
2019-20: His 71.76 stroke average was fifth on the team, but a stroke per round better than in either of his first two years…had 10 rounds under-par, third on the team, he had two other rounds at even par…played 21 rounds and had six rounds in the 60s…played the 21 rounds at 13-over-par…had his best round of 67 at Ka’anapali Classic on November 2, 2019…led the team in scoring on par-three holes at 2.97 in the fall…had solid 71.14 stroke average in opening rounds…his 75 birdies were third on the team…had best score of the day twice…played the Carpet Classic as an individual and finished third at the season opening tournament….had team best 14 birdies…that was his best finish of the year…had a streak of seven straight rounds at 71 or better in the fall…played well at Nicklaus Match Play, he had a pair of ties playing with William Nottingham, then had a tie in his singles match against Duke….finished the fall with rounds of 67-70-70 at Ka’anapali and finished 25th….played in both tournaments in the spring before the COVID19 hit…finished 42nd at Puerto Rico with 218 score…had second round 68…finished 17th at the Palmetto with 215 score….highlight there was opening round 67…his play helped Tigers to team victory at the Palmetto
In 2018-19: Led the Tigers at NCAA National Tournament with three-over-par 291 score, good enough for 11th place…had rounds of 74-72-71-74 to lead Tigers to tie for eighth place at the tournament…finished 10 shots better than Clemson first-team All-American Bryson Nimmer… third on the team in stroke average with a 72.79 figure, that was his average for the four NCAA National tournament rounds as well…had three rounds in the 60s, but 11 rounds at par or better…had one round at par and one-under-par at the national tournament, only Tiger to do that … shot 75 or better in 25 of his 28 rounds, including all four rounds in the NCAA Tournament…Clemson’s second best player in three of the last five tournaments….finished 24th at the ACC Tournament with a 215 score, one-under-par after rounds of 69-75-72…also second best Tiger at the John Hayt Intercollegiate in Jacksonville, he finished 21st…fourth among Tigers at the NCAA Austin Regional, but he had opening rounds of 70 and 72 to help Tigers stay in contention for top five finish…non-counter in the last round with a 77, but his first two rounds were huge for Larry Penley’s team…finished second as an individual at the Hummingbird Invitational where he shot a career best 205 for 54 holes…had career best tying 66 in the final round of the Hummingbird…best round of the spring was opening 68 at the ACC Tournament…had 72.25 stroke average in opening rounds…had 4.02 stroke average on par four holes, second on the team…had 90 birdies for the year and one eagle, he had five eagles as a freshman…had team best 18 birdies at NCAA National Tournament.
2017-18: Had an outstanding freshman year as starter in every tournament….his 72.91 stroke average ranked eighth in Clemson history among freshmen…strong starter with 71.54 stroke average in his first round, third on the Clemson team….that included opening round 71 at NCAA National Tournament at Stillwater, Okla.…had three top 10s, including second career tournament at Trinity Forest, site of PGA Tour event, where he had season best 207, six-under-par, to finish third in a national field…had six rounds in the 60s, 11 under par rounds and 15 rounds at par or better…his score counted in 28 of 34 rounds and had best score of the day seven times…hit fairway 72 percent of the time and 65 percent in terms of GIR… five of his six rounds in the 60s were in the fall, but his stroke average in fall and spring were nearly identical… his six-under-par 66 at the Golf Club of Georgia in the fall showed his capabilities, it tied for the second best round of the fall by any Tiger and was the best round posted by a Clemson player on that course in history…Clemson’s best player by four shots that day…five of his last eight rounds of the fall were in the 60s…had third-place finish at Trinity Forest to lead the Tigers with a 207 score, six-under-par…then finished the fall with identical 214 totals at Nike and Golf Club of Georgia…was in contention at Golf Club of Georgia after rounds of 69-66, but then stumbled to a 79 in the final round to finish 37th…had at least 10 birdies in seven consecutive tournaments entering the NCAA Championships, then had nine at Stillwater……had a pair of top 10s in the spring, he finished eighth at Irish Creek to help Clemson to a victory, then finished seventh at Clemson Invitational…shot two under par 214 at ACC Tournament…shot 222 at NCAA Regional, but had clutch 72 in the final round to help Clemson to second-place team finish….started out with rounds of 71-74 at NCAA Championships at Oklahoma State, but finished 82-78 and was 75th for the four rounds with a 305 total.
Summer 2017: Finished second at the Tennessee Junior Amateur with a 212 score…had rounds of 70-70-71 for one under par total…shot 142 at his US Amateur qualifier…shot 150 for 36 holes at Tennessee State Amateur in August.
Prior to Clemson: Won Tennessee State championship with a six-under-par score of 138 in October of 2016, five shots ahead of his nearest competitor… led his Knoxville Catholic team to a second-place finish….led his high school team to the regional championship with a fourth-place individual finish in September of 2016…. also fifth at the 2014 state tournament…on the amateur circuit, Cottham had eight top 11 finishes in the last two years on the Sneds Tour….finished fifth at the AJGA Junior All-Star at Innisbrook in 2015 and had three top 10s on the AJGA circuit for his career…a three-time Tennessee Junior Cup player and was Most Valuable Player his final year.
Personal: From an athletic family, Cottam’s mother played basketball at Memphis, his dad played baseball at Memphis and his brother Kole was one of the top home run hitters in college baseball at the University of Kentucky in spring of 2018.
Cottam Personality Profile
Favorite Current Professional: Rory McIlroy
Favorite Athlete Outside of Golf: Kyrie Irving
Favorite Course I have Played: Greenbriar
Toughest Course I have Played: TPC Sawgrass
Best All-time rounds: 63 at Fox Den Country Club
Best Part of my game: Short Game
My Favorite Club: Putter
Part of my Game I Need to Improve: Distance control with my Wedge
Biggest Influence on my golf career: Dad and brother
Dream Foursome: Tiger Woods, Donald Trump, Jordan Langworthy (World Cornhole Champion).