South Carolina is in, Clemson needs to climb a spot to get in as the final round of the NCAA Regionals are set for Saturday. The top five teams from each regional advance to the NCAA finals later this month.
The Gamecocks are in fourth place with a two shot lead over Baylor to stay in the top five. USC is two shots behind the other USC for third place in the Bremerton, Washington Regional.
Clemson is just outside the top five. The Tigers are in a sixth place tie with North Carolina. Florida is in fifth place two shots ahead of the Tigers and the Tarheels going into the final round on Saturday.
“We knew coming into this tournament whoever played well on the last day would advance to the NCAA national,” said Clemson head coach Larry Penley. “We are a couple off the cutline, but we are in position to make it. We are going to have to play well on Saturday. And there are a lot of teams that are in the same situation,” said Penley.
The Gamecocks were led by senior Sean Kelly who shot a 4-under par 68. Kelley is at 5-under par for the tournament and in tie for seventh place. Cheng-Tsung Pan of Washington is the individual leader at 8-under par.
“Sean Kelly just played an incredible round,” said Gamecock head coach Bill McDonald. “The guys kept us in the golf tournament. They looked more focused and a little bit more like the team we had seen most of the year. Our two seniors will be leading us out tomorrow for the final round. I’m hoping they can get us off to a good start. I’m sure it’s going to be quite a battle. The final round of regionals is always interesting,” said the USC coach.
Austin Langdale jumped 17 spots in the individual standings after shooting 4-under par 68 to lead Clemson at the Chapel Hill Regional. Langdale now is in fifth place in the individual standings.
Billy Kennerly, who was in second place after the first round, dropped back into a tie for sixth place after shooting a 74.
“We are still in this tournament because of the round Billy Kennerly had yesterday (67) and Austin’s round today. He picked a good time to have his career best round,” said the Clemson coach.
USC Upstate golfer Ryan Cornfield, playing as an individual entrant climber to the 15th spot. Cornfield shot a 2-under par 70 and gained 15 spots in the individual competition.
The individual leader at the Chapel Hill Regional is T.J. Poston of Western Carolina. The SoCon player of the year is at 8-under par.
Live scoring is available at http://www.golfstat.com
Gamecock photo from USC