Clemson, S.C.—Winners of two of its last three tournaments, the Clemson men’s golf team heads to Birmingham, Al to compete in the Collegiate Invitational at the Country Club of Birmingham, April 5-7 at Birmingham Country Club in Birmingham, Ala. The tournament was originally schedule for Shoal Creek Country Club, but a recent tornado knocked down over 1500 trees around thatcourse.
This will be the most competitive field of the year for the Tigers. The field includes 10 teams for the SEC, the first tournament Clemson has competed against an SEC team this year. Auburn will serve as the host school.
The field includes eight top 25 teams according to the latest Golfstat ranking. The list of ranked teams is led by fourth-ranked Clemson. Also in the field are Auburn (9), Vanderbilt (10), Georgia (12), Tennessee (19), Arkansas (21), North Florida (22) and LSU (23). Also in the field are Alabama, Charlotte, UAB, Virginia, Mississippi, Mississippi State and Kentucky.
Clemson is coming off a strong victory at the John Hayt at Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra, Flalast week. Among the 13 teams the Tigers defeated at Sawgrass were four other top 25 teams, including top-ranked Florida State and third-ranked Wake Forest. Clemson had been 0-5 against those twoteams entering the tournament.
The victory was the 81st of Head Coach Larry Penley’s Hall of Fame career. He needs one more winto tie Jesse Haddock’s ACC record for career coaching victories.
Clemson will feature a veteran, but first-time lineup in Birmingham. Senior William Nottingham will miss his first tournament of the year as he goes through qualifying for the MacKenzie Tour.
The Tigers will be led by senior Turk Pettit and juniorJacob Bridgeman. Pettit has an even 70.0 stroke average for four events this year and has finished in the top 10 of all four tournaments, including a fourth-place a the Valspar and a third-place at the John Hayt in his two most recent events.
Bridgeman has a team best 69.33 stroke average, on pace to be just the second individual in school history to average under 70.0 for an academic year. Bryson Nimmer (2018-19) is the only other one to do it. Bridgeman also has four top 10s this year, but those include medalist honors at the Camp Creek Seminole and the Palmetto.
Colby Patton has also played very well this year and sports a 70.87 stroke average, best of his four seasons with the program. Patton has 10 under-par rounds, including seven in the 60s. He has consecutive top 10 finishes entering this tournament, including a sixth-place at the John Hayt. The native of Fountain Inn has shot under-par in seven of his last eight rounds.
Kyle Cottam is coming off his best tournament of the year, a second-place at the John Hayt that was best among the Clemson golfers. Cottam had his first bogey free round of the year at the Hayt when he shot a 68 in the first round, then had a season best 67 in the final round. Cottam has a 71.47 stroke average this season.
Zack Gordon rounds out Clemson’s lineup. He has a 72.67 stroke average for four tournaments this year. Three of his four starts have been as an individual.. He has shot at least one under-par round in each tournament this year.
Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com