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Oct 30, 2022

Swanson Wins Ka’anapali Classic; Tigers Finish Second as Team at 20-Team Event

Clemson, S.C—Andrew Swanson took medalist honors thanks to a career best 63 on Sunday  in leading Clemson to a second-place finish at the 20-team Ka’anapali Classic at Ka’anapali Country Club in Lahaina, Hawaii.   The tournament concluded the fall portion of the Clemson season.

Swanson finished with a 54-hole score of 18-under-par 195.   His 18-under-par score versus par set a Clemson record for score versus par in any tournament.   The previous record was 17-under par by Bryson Nimmer at the Clemson Invitational in 2019.   Swanson’s 195 total score tied the Clemson record that Nimmer had at the 2018 Maui Jim Invitational.

The Clemson sophomore is now in exclusive company with the victory, as he joined Lucas Glover, Kyle Stanley and Doc Redman as the only Clemson golfers to win a tournament in Hawaii. All three of those former Tigers are currently on the PGA Tour.

“It was a great way to finish the fall,” said Swanson about his performance and that of the Clemson team.  “I did well in different phases of the game over the course of the tournament.   Today, it was putting, I had just 22 putts over the 18 holes.  Earlier in the week it was driving and ball striking.”   

During one stretch on the back nine on Sunday, he scored an eagle on the 12th hole when he hit the ball in the cup from 85 yards out with a wedge, made a 25 footer on the 14th hole, then chipped from behind the green on 15.

“Andrew’s performance shows what hard work can do,” said Clemson Head Coach Jordan Byrd.  “He has put in the time all fall and it paid off this weekend.   He has really worked on his  short game and putting. “

Swanson also tied the Clemson mark for birdies and eagles in a 54-hole tournament with 20.  He had 19 birdies and an eagle over the course of his performance  that included rounds of 64-68-63.   The native of Bluffton, SC was on pace to tie the single round record score of 62, as he was nine-under par on the par 71 course through 16 holes.  But he made a bogey on the par three 17th hole, his only bogey of the day, and finished at eight-under-par 63, tied for the third lowest score in Clemson history.

Swanson entered the final round two shots behind Nick Gabrelcik of North Florida, the #31 ranked player in the nation, the highest ranked golfer in the 123-player field.   But the Clemson sophomore beat Gabrelcik by four shots on Sunday to take the title, his first as a Clemson golfer.    

“Andrew was playing with some highly ranked, experienced golfers, but he was not phased by anything today.  Maybe he was, but he didn’t show it,” said Byrd with a smile.

Clemson finished second as a team with an 823 score for the 54 holes, 29-under-par.  The 823 total tied for the sixth best team tournament score in Clemson history.   Oklahoma, ranked 11th in the nation by Golfstat, won the tournament with a score of 41-under-par 811.   Liberty finished third at 826, while Colorado, Kansas, East Tennessee State and Louisiana all tied for fourth at 830.  Clemson finished ahead of five top 50 teams, including 20th-ranked Georgia by 10 shots.

Kian Rose, Carter Pendley and Jonathan Nielsen all gave Swanson support with scores of two-under-par 69 on Sunday.  All three shot even-par or better for the tournament.

Rose had rounds of 69-68-69 for a 206 total that ranked 13th in the final standings.  He finished the tournament with 12 birdies and he now has a team best six rounds in the 60s and eight under-par rounds this year. 

Nielsen had a strong 67 in the opening round and a 69 in the final round.  He finished at one-under-par 212 for the tournament,  for his second straight under-par tournament.  He finished 40th in the individual results.  

Pendley had a strong 67 in the opening round, and a 69 on Sunday to finish at even-par 213 for the 54 holes to finish in a tie for 53rd place.    It was his first tournament at par or better since the season opener at the Maui Jim.

Senior Zack Gordon had an even par 71 on Sunday to finish the tournament at one-over-par 214.  He had an opening round 69 and now has 38 career rounds at par or better as a Tiger.  He had two eagles during the tournament and now has 10 for his career, ninth highest total in Clemson history.

Two Clemson golfers played the tournament as individuals.   Both had three rounds at 74 or better.   Justin Burroughs had rounds of 72-74-71 to finish at 217, while Alberto Dominquez had rounds of 73-74-73 to finish at 220.

Clemson  will return to the course in the spring at the Watersound Invitational in Panama City, Florida, Feb. 19-21.   

Results of Ka’anapali Classic

Oct. 28-30, 2022

Ka’anapali Country Club, Lahaina, Hawaii

Team Results

1.Oklahoma 811, 2.  Clemson 823,  3.  Liberty 826,  4.   Colorado, Kansas, East Tennessee State, Louisiana 830,  8.  Mississippi 832,  9.  Georgia 833,  10.  North Florida 834,  11.  UC Irvine  and Boise State 849,   13.  CSU-Northridge and UCONN 855,  15.  Hawaii and Wyoming 858, 17.  Gonzaga 862,  18.  Denver 863,  19.  Mount St. Mary’s 890,  20.  Air Force 893.

Clemson Individuals

  1. Andrew Swanson 64-68-63/195;  13.  Kian Rose 69-68-69/206; 40.  Jonathan Nielsen 67-76-69/212;  53.  Carter Pendley 67-77-69/213,  59.  Zack Gordon 69-74-71/214

Individuals     77. Justin Burroughs 72-74-71/217,   90.  Alberto Dominquez 73-74-73/220.