Clemson had a team score of 301, 13 over par on the par 72 course that is 7,450 yards in length. Clemson stands in a tie for fourth place with Kent State, who played in the morning wave. Southern Cal and UCLA are tied for the lead after the first round at 9 over par 297, followed by UCLA and Oklahoma State, who are tied at 10 over par 298.
Clemson gained five shots on the Cowboys over the last two holes when
Stanley finished with a par on the 17th hole and a birdie on the 18th.
Richie Fowler, the number one ranked player in the nation, hit two balls
in the water on the 17th hole and made a seven on the par three hole,
then bogeyed the 18th.
The Tigers will continue play on Thursday morning with a 7:20 AM tee
time. The 30 team field will be cut to 15 teams after the third round on
Friday. The final 18 holes will be played on Saturday.
Overall, Clemson head Coach Larry Penley was pleased with his team's play
on Wednesday. "This was a good start," said Penley, who is in his 23rd
NCAA national tournament in his 25 years as the Clemson Head Coach.
"This is a very difficult golf course. Par is really 75. It has
similarities to the course in Stillwater, OK." Clemson won the national
championship in 2003 at Oklahoma State's home course with a four day
score of 39 over par.
"I was proud of the way this team hung in there. I saw a lot of good out
there today. You can make bogeys, you just can't make the big numbers.
We had to count a few doubles and a triple. We need to correct that. If
we had done that today, we would be in or close to the lead. But,
overall I am pleased with our standing."
Stanley made three consecutive bogeys on the front side from holes 5-7
and stood at two over par through seven holes. But, he held his round
together and made four birdies on the back side, including the par five
16th and the difficult par four 18th. He made one of the eight birdies
on the 484-yard 18th hole when he hit his drive 335 yards down the middle
of the fairway. He then hit a nine iron from 149 yards to within four
feet of the cup. He then made the birdie to finish with an even par 72,
one of only six rounds at par or better in the 156-player field.
Stanley finished second at the NCAA Championship a year ago as a freshman
when he shot a seven under par 273 score. He lost out to Southern
California freshman Jamie Lovemark last year. Lovemark's Southern
California team has the first round team lead, but Lovemark shot a seven
over par 79 on Wednesday. Stanley is in a tie for fourth place after the
first round with his even par score. The average score for the
156-player field was 78.9.
Ben Martin was Clemson's second best golfer on Wednesday with a two over
par 74. Martin shot a two over par 38 on the front side, then played
the back side in even par. He made a 40-foot putt for birdie on the
sixth hole, then made a 10 foot birdie putt on the 14th hole. He also
made a great sand save on the 16th hole when his shot from the green
side bunker finished a foot from the cup. Martin is in 11th place in
the individual race.
Phillip Mollica found the fairway just three times on his tee shots on
Wednesday, but he scored a 75. Like Martin, Mollica also made a 40 foot
putt for birdie. His long putt came on the par four eighth hole, quite
an accomplishment after he hit his drive in deep rough. Mollica parred
the 10th through 17th holes before making a bogey on the difficult 18th
hole. Mollica stands in 25th place after the first round.
David May, the veteran of the Clemson lineup who was a key to Clemson's
seventh place finish in 2006, gutted out a round of 80 on Wednesday. May
played the first six holes in even par, but made a triple bogey seven on
the par four 15th hole when he hit his tee shot into very deep rough. He
then played the last three holes in even par to finish with an 80.
Sam Saunders got his round off to a great start with a birdie on the
first hole. But the sophomore made three double bogeys during his round,
including a pair on par three holes and finished with an 81. Saunders
was outstanding at the NCAA West Regional in Bremerton, WA 10 days ago
when he shot a 216 to tie for the top tournament among Clemson golfers.
Clemson Tied for Fourth in NCAAs
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