Aug. 20, 2009
Clemson, SC – Three members of the 2009 Clemson golf team will compete in the United States Amateur at Southern Hills Golf Club in Tulsa, OK August 24-30. Play begins with two rounds of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday, August 24-25 at Southern Hill and Cedar Ridge Golf Club. The top 64 survivors from the 312-player field move on to match play on Wednesday, August 26.
Ben Martin, Phillip Mollica and Sam Saunders, all starters on Clemson’s 2009 team, will be in the field. Martin qualified by virtue of his competition in the 2009 United States Open. He ranked second on the Clemson team in stroke average last year with a 73.00 average and he was named to the All-ACC team and the All-ACC Academic team.
Martin is the only returning starter for the 2009-10 Clemson team. The native of Greenwood, SC became just the third active Clemson golfer to qualify for the US Open when he competed at Bethpage Black earlier this summer. He had the lead at two-under par through 10 holes.
Mollica was a three-year starter for the Tigers who finished his Clemson career this season. He had a 74.15 stroke average this year when he played in nine of the 10 team tournaments. His top finish was a third place at The Brickyard and he also finished 10th at the ACC Tournament.
The native of Anderson, SC has had an outstanding amateur career, as he is the only two-time winner of the Monroe Amateur and also captured the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst over his career. Mollica qualified for the 2009 US Amateur when he tied for first at the sectional qualifier at Columbia Country Club in Blythewood with a 134 score.
Saunders played in five tournaments for the Tigers this past year and in 24 events over the last three years. He was named to the All-Regional team in 2008 when he helped the Tigers to a fifth-place national finish. Saunders, who has announced he will turn professional later this year and will not return to Clemson, finished second at the US Amateur qualifier in Orlando, FL in July with a 139 total.
The US Amateur will be televised starting on August 26 when the Golf Channel will show matches between 4-6 PM. Coverage continues on the Golf Channel on the 27th and 28th. NBC will show the semifinals on August 29 from 4-6 PM and the championship match on August 30 from 4-6 PM.
Southern Hill is a par 70 course that is 7093 yards in length. It has been the site of the US Open three times, including as recently as 2001 when Retief Goosen won the title. Cedar Ridge Golf Club in Tulsa will also serve as a course of the stroke play qualifier August 24 and 25.
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