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Tigers Open Spring Season in Puerto Rico

Tigers Open Spring Season in Puerto Rico

Clemson, S.C.—While the temperatures are at record lows in South Carolina, the Clemson men’s golf team begins its spring season in warm temperatures in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Sunday.   Larry Penley’s Tigers will be one of 15 teams competing in the Puerto Rico Classic Feb. 22-24 at the Rio Mar River Course.

Clemson is one of six top 30 teams in the field that includes ACC squads Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, N.C. State and North Carolina.  Also in the field are SEC  powers Alabama and Georgia.   Alabama is the defending National Champion.  Georgia Tech is the highest ranked club with a No. 6 rating according to the Sagarin Computer rankings.

This will be Clemson’s 23rd straight appearance in the Puerto Rico Classic.  The Tigers won the event in February of 1999 and have finished second eight times, including as recently as 2012.  Clemson finished a strong fourth last year with a 17-under par team score of 847.

Miller Capps was co-medalist last year with a 204 score after rounds of 70-67-67.  His performance marked the first time in 16 years that a Clemson player had shot five-under-par or better in consecutive rounds in the same tournament.  Other Clemson players who have won medalist honors at the Puerto Rico Classic are Jonathan Byrd (1997),  John Engler (1999), Lucas Glover (2001), and Matt Hendrix (2004).

Capps will return to the Clemson lineup again this year.   The junior is one of three Tigers in this year’s tournament who played last year.   Cody Proveaux, who shot three-under 213 a year ago and finished 22nd, and Carson Young, who had a 222 total, also will be in the Clemson lineup on Sunday.

Billy Kennerly, who finished seventh at the Puerto Rico Classic as a freshman in 2012, and freshman Josh Fickes, will also play for the Tigers.

Proveaux has been Clemson’s top player so far this year with a 70.75 stroke average and has 10 under-par rounds in 16 total rounds, including six rounds in the 60s  He has three top 10 finishes and is 13-under-par for the year.  Kennerly is second in terms of stroke average at 71.50, while Capps is third with a 72.00 average.

Junior Stephen Behr, Clemson’s stroke average leader each of the last two years, will sit out this tournament as his is recovering from wrist surgery.