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Stanley Finishes Second at NCAA Golf Tournament

Stanley Finishes Second at NCAA Golf Tournament

June 2, 2007


Clemson, SC— Clemson freshman Kyle Stanley’s bid to become the school’s first NCAA individual champion in 10 years fell short Saturday, but the ACC Player of the Year still finished second to complete one of the great individual seasons in Clemson golf history.

Stanley shot a final round 69 to finish with a 273 score for his four rounds and 72 holes on the par 70 Golden Horseshoe Course in Williamsburg, VA, just two shots off the pace of Southern California freshman Jamie Lovemark, who shot a 64 in the final round to finish with a 271 total. Ron Grube of National Champion Stanford, finished third with a 274 score after making a bogey on the final hole.

Stanley and Lovemark had competed for the nation’s top freshman honor most of the year so it was fitting that the final round of the NCAA Championship was a battle between the two young players. Entering the NCAA national tournament, Lovemark had the nation’s number-one individual ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, while Stanley was eighth overall, second among freshmen.

At the conclusion of the tournament Lovemark was named National Player of the Year and Stanley was named first-team All-American. Stanley is the first freshman in Clemson history to be named first-team All-American by the Golf Coaches Association.

For Stanley it was his third straight top three finish in a major tournament. He finished third at the ACC Tournament, third at the NCAA Regional to go with his second place at the NCAA National. He joins Charles Warren’s 1997 performance as the only players in Clemson history to finish in the top three in all three of those postseason events in the same year. He is the first Clemson freshman to accomplish the feat.

Stanley made a strong start on Saturday when he shot a 31 on the front nine, his best nine-hole score on any nine all week. He made birdies on the par three third hole, the fifth, sixth and seventh holes, to get to four under par for the round and 10 under par for the tournament. When he made the turn, he had a three shot lead over Lovemark.

The front nine was Stanley’s stronger nine all week. He was 10 under par for the week on the front nine and three over par on the back nine in recording his seven under par score overall. That included an 11-under par aggregate for holes four through nine for the week.

Stanley continued his strong play with pars on holes 10 and 11. He then made bogeys on the 12 and 14 holes about the time Lovemark made three consecutive birdies up ahead on holes 15-17. Suddenly Lovemark went from three strokes down to one shot ahead.

Stanley still could have tied Lovemark with a birdie on either the 17th or 18th holes. The Southern Cal freshman had finished nearly 45 minutes ahead of Stanley, so the Clemson freshmen knew what he had to do to tie Lovemark, who has competed against Stanley in junior tournaments prior to this year. But, Stanley made a par on the 17th hole and made a bogey on the 18th to finish two shots behind Lovemark.

Stanley’s performance for the 72 holes was remarkable. He had 19 birdies and 12 bogeys and never had a score worse than bogey for the week. His 273 score is the second best in Clemson history for an NCAA Tournament. It is topped only by Charles Warren’s 272 at the 1998 NCAA Tournament in Albuquerque when he finished second.

Stanley had scores of 70-69-65-69 for his 273 total. His seven under par is the best ever for a Clemson freshman versus par and the best overall total in an NCAA Tournament. The seven under par is the fourth best in school history regardless of class. He finished the tournament with three rounds in the 60s, joining Warren as the only players in Clemson history with three rounds in the 60s in the same NCAA Tournament. He is the first freshman to record three rounds in the 60s in any tournament in Clemson history.

Additionally, Stanley’s 65 in the third round tied the Clemson record for low score by any Clemson golfer in an NCAA Tournament. Mark Swygert had a 65 in the 1994 NCAAs in McKinney, TX.

For the season, Stanley finishes with a 70.87 stroke average, second best in school history behind D.J. Trahan’s 70.33 in 2001-02 when he was named national Player of the Year. He had 18 rounds under par and 21 at par or better, both freshman records at Clemson. All but one of his 31 rounds were at 75 or better.