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Top-Ranked Clemson Wins San Juan Shootout

February 23, 1999

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – John Engler fired a seven-under par 65 to take co-medalist honors and lead the Clemson golf team to the championship of the San Juan Shootout at the River Course at Rio Mar Country Club in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The victory was the fourth of the year in six tournaments for Larry Penley’s Tigers, who did nothing to hurt their #1 ranking in all three college golf polls.

Clemson won the event by four strokes over Georgia Tech (834). Georgia and East Tennessee State were tied for third at 858, six-under par. NC State was fifth at 860, while Texas was sixth at 870. North Carolina was seventh at 873, Duke was 10th at 888, Virginia 12th at 894, Wake Forest 13th at 898 and Florida State 15th at 903. The 18-team field included 10 of the top 25 teams in the nation.

Engler fired a 65 on Tuesday to tie David Christensen of East Tennessee State. Engler had rounds of 70-70-65 for his 205 score, the lowest of his career. His 65 was not a season low, as the native of Augusta, GA had a 64 in the second round of the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. He did become the first Clemson golfer in history to have two rounds at 65 or better in the same year. It was the first victory of Engler’s career.

Clemson won the event with a 34-under team score, 830. That is a Clemson record for a 54-hole tournament score, breaking the record of 832 set earlier this fall at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate. It also broke the record for strokes under-par in a tournament. The previous best was -31 at the NCAA Championships last year.

The San Juan Shootout was the sixth time in the last nine tournaments that Clemson has been 20 under par or better. Only twice in the 70-year history of the sport had a Clemson team been 20-under par for a tournament.

All five Clemson golfers finished at four-under par or better for the event and all five finished in the top 12. Both of those accomplishments were Clemson firsts. Elliot Gealy, Clemson’s number-five golfer, shot a 71 on Tuesday and finished at five-under par 211. That was the best 54-hole score of his career by six shots. Lucas Glover tied Gealy for eighth place with a consistent 71-70-70 for a 211 score.

Jonathan Byrd won the team comeback award for the event. After an opening round 76, Byrd had rounds of 69 and 67 over the final two days for a 212 total, four-under par. He tied for 12th along with Clemson freshman Michael Hoey. The 12th-place finish ended Byrd’s string of top 10 finishes at five.

Clemson at San Juan Shootout

John Engler    70-70-65      205   1stElliot Gealy   73-67-71      211   8thLucas Glover   71-70-70      211   8thJonathan Byrd  76-69-67      212   12thMichael Hoey   67-70-75      212   12thTeam           281-276-273   830   1st