March 5, 2003
Clemson’s number-one ranked golf team puts its school record streak of seven consecutive first or second-place finishes on the line this weekend at the Toyota Collegiate Golf Tournament in Las Vegas. NV. Clemson will be in the 15-team field of national teams that will compete in a three-day 54-hole event at Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas. The course is par 72 and 7,381 yards in length, the longest course on Clemson’s schedule.
Clemson has competed in seven tournaments this year, finishing first in three events and second in four others. Clemson will be challenged to keep that streak alive as the Tigers have never finished higher than third in 14 previous trips to Las Vegas and has an average finish of fifth place.
This will be Clemson’s third event of the spring season, eighth of the academic year. The Tigers finished second at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate at Sawgrass on Feb. 18th and finished tied for second out of 18 teams at the Puerto Rico Classic a week later.
The Tigers are led by All-American and reigning national player of the year D.J. Trahan. The senior from Inman, SC has a 71.06 stroke average this year and has 11 under-par rounds in his 17 rounds this year. He finished first at the Mercedes Benz Collegiate in February when he shot a 67 on the final round. He overcame an eight-shot deficit in the final round to win in a playoff.
Trahan won medallist honors at the Las Vegas Collegiate as a freshman when he shot a 207 score for the 54 holes. That was his first of now five collegiate wins at Clemson. He needs one more victory to break Chris Patton’s Clemson career record.
Jack Ferguson is number-two on Clemson’s stroke average list this year with a 71.94 average. The sophomore has nine rounds at par or better this year and has had three top 10 finishes. He was third in the first tournament of the year, The Topy Cup in Japan, when he fired a 12-under-par 204 score.
Matt Hendrix has been a consistent golfer for Larry Penley’s Tigers, and he has a 72.06 stroke average to show for it. His season included a team best 65 in the Topy Cup in September. He is coming off a 17th place finish at the Puerto Rico Classic where he shot a 54-hole score of 219.
Clemson’s best golfer in its most recent tournament was junior All-American Gregg Jones. Jones finished third at the Puerto Rico Classic with a 214 score. It was his third top 10 finish of the year. He has been under-par in each of his last two tournaments, the only Tiger who can make that statement.
Ben Duncan, a senior from Greenville, will be in the starting lineup for the Tigers. Duncan has a 73.47 average for the year and has a pair of top 10 finishes, both recorded in the fall.
Georgia Tech is the defending team champion after shooting an 844 team score last year. The Tigers finished fourth of 16 teams last year with an 867 score. Jones was Clemson’s best golfer at Las Vegas last year with a 215 score, good enough for fifth place.
The other team’s in this year’s field include Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Augusta State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Minnesota, New Mexico, NC State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas and UNLV.
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