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Tigers Begin Play in NCAAs on Thursday

Tigers Begin Play in NCAAs on Thursday

Clemson, S.C.—The Clemson men’s golf team will being play in the NCAA Chapel Hill Regional at the Finley Golf Course in Chapel Hill, NC on Thursday.  The Tigers are one of 13 schools fighting for five spots in the 30-team NCAA National Tournament in Bradenton, Fla May 29 through June 3.

Clemson is seeded sixth in the field and will be paired with Wake Forest and Kennessaw State for the first round on Thursday.   Clemson players will start play between 8:30 and 9:04 AM on the 10th hole on the course that was redesigned in 1999 by Tom Fazio.

The Tigers will take one senior, three juniors and a sophomore to the NCAA Regional in Chapel Hill.  All five have NCAA Tournament experience and four of the five have played in two NCAA Tournaments.    Four of the five have earned a top 25 finish at an NCAA Tournament as well.

Clemson has played well of late with a second place finish out of 14 teams at the Yale Spring Invitational and a loss in a playoff for the league title against Georgia Tech in the ACC Championships April 24-26 at The Old North State Club in New London, N.C.   Clemson has six top five finishes in its 12 tournaments this year, including a victory and three runnerup finishes.

Billy Kennerly is Clemson’s top golfer this year with a 71.06 stroke average, a figure on pace to be the seventh best in Clemson history and the best since Kyle Stanley had a 70.87 average in 2006-07.   Kennerly has six top 10 finishes in his 12 events and has 20 rounds at par or better.    The senior from Alpharetta, Ga has had back-to-back top 10 finishes entering the NCAAs, including a seventh place at the ACC Tournament two weekends ago. 

Miller Capps is second on the team in stroke average with a 71.47 figure, one of four Tigers under 72.0 for the year.  Capps has a team best 21 rounds at par or better and has four top 10 finishes, including ninth place at the ACC Tournament.

Cody Proveaux was Clemson’s top player in the fall and has a 71.85 average for the year.   The junior has eight rounds in the 60s, including a Clemson record tying 63 at the Palmetto Invitational in Aiken where he finished second, missing a playoff by just one shot.    Proveaux finished 25th at the NCAA Regional in Illinois last year.

Stephen Behr is a fourth upperclassman in the Clemson lineup.  Behr has a 71.97 stroke average for the year and has 16 rounds at par or better.  The junior has been very consistent and his score has counted towards Clemson’s team score in 30 of the 31 rounds he has played this year.

Austin Langdale is a sophomore who has played well lately.  He has a 72.83 stroke average for the year, but has finished in the top 16 in each of his last two events, including a No. 11 finish at the ACC Tournament where his final round 69 helped the Tigers into a playoff with Georgia Tech.

Clemson has had an outstanding history in the NCAA Tournament, including the regional level.  Larry Penley’s Tigers have won seven NCAA regional titles.  Only Oklahoma State has more with 10.   Clemson is one of the few schools in the nation that has been to a regional tournament every year since the format began in 1989.

This marks the 34th consecutive year Clemson has been to the NCAA Tournament, or every year since 1982.  Clemson won the National Championship in 2003 in a tournament held at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.  The Tigers beat the home standing Cowboys by two shots. 

Overall, Clemson has nine top five finishes and 14 top 10s at the NCAA Tournament in its history.  Larry Penley has been the head coach for eight of those top five finishes.  He has won the NCAA Regional seven times, more than any other active head coach.