Pawley’s Island, S.C—Sophomore Alice Hewson tied a career high with seven birdies on the way to a two-under par 70 on Thursday in the first round of the ACC Women’s Tournament at The Reserve at Pawley’s Island Golf Course. Hewson led Clemson to a 287 team score and a tie for third place after the first round.
While Clemson is in a tie for third, Kelley Hester’s Tigers are just three shots behind team leader Duke (284) and two behind second place Miami (FL). Clemson is tied for third with fourth-ranked Florida State and North Carolina. The ACC Tournament includes five of the top 25 and eight of the top 50 teams in the nation.
Clemson’s 287 team score in the opening round is the best for the Tiger women’s golf program at the ACC Tournament by five shots. Clemson’s team round included 16 birdies, tied for the most in the field with Duke.
It was Clemson’s sixth under-par team round of the year, its first in the opening round of a tournament since February 5 at the UCF Challenge. Clemson went on to win that event.
Hewson’s 70 was the best by a Clemson individual at the ACC Tournament. The native of the United Kingdom had seven birdies, tied for her career high for Clemson. Her overall career best is 10 birdies when she played in a summer tournament at St. Andrews. Her seven birdies on Thursday led the field of 60 golfers. She is tied for sixth after the first round.
Sydney Legacy continued her strong play with a 71 thanks to 15 pars, two birdies and just one bogey. The junior from Lexington, S.C. has shot one-under-par in three of her last four rounds. Her 15 pars ranked second best in the field. She is tied for 13th after the first round.
Ana Paula Valdes had a strong first ever round at the ACC Tournament with an even par 72. The native of Mexico was two-under-par for her last eight holes after making a double bogey on the 10th hole. She is tied for 15th.
Marisa Messana continued her fine play in the ACC Tournament with a two over par 74. She had three birdies and played the last three holes at one under. The junior is the only Clemson golfer to record a pair of top 25 finishes at the ACC Tournament. She stands in 27th place after the first round.
Freshman Kennedy Swann had an 80 and was the non-counter on the day.
“It was a good start,” said Hester, the first-year Clemson Coach who took Furman to back to back conference championships the previous two years. “We talked about getting off to a good start, something we have not done well this year.” The first round has been Clemson’s worst round in four of the last five tournaments.
“Alice had a great day with seven birdies and Sydney was very steady (15 pars). I was especially proud of Ana Paula Valdes because she played most of the round with a migraine. Marisa battled all day.”
1. Duke 284, 2. Miami (FL) 285, 3. Clemson, North Carolina, Florida State 287, 6. NC State 297, 7. Boston College, Louisville and Notre Dame 298, 10. Virginia Tech and Virginia 304, 12. Wake Forest 312.
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