The Clemson Tigers have found a way to come from behind to win several big tournaments during the year. They played well enough to get by teams of equal or better ability.
Their ability to make the big move in the final round will be tested in the final round of the NCAA Championship.
The Tigers may have dug themselves a hole that is too big to climb out of this time.
Clemson finished a difficult first round on Saturday morning (after weather caused the opening round to be delayed) with a 313 score which put the Tigers at 25 over par.
The team then turned around quickly and played the second round and seemed to find their games again.
Clemson finished the second round a 3-under par 285, but still are at the bottom of the leader board.
“We settled down in the second round, but there wasn’t anywhere to go but up,” said Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley. “The biggest improvement we had to make from the first round was to hit the fairway and we did that more often in the second round,” he said.
Carson Young got untracked and shot a 4-under par 68 to lead the Clemson team. Fellow senior Austin Langdale improved by six shots to finish the first 36 holes at 1-over par.
“I was glad to see the guys come back with fight in the second round. I was pleased for Carson (Young) and Austin (Langdale). Austin stayed in his game and had his best round in the NCAA tournament (regional or national). Carson hit the fairways and that was one of the reasons he had a 68. He really played well on a very difficult course,” said the Clemson coach.
Bryson Nimmer finished at 1-under par while freshman Doc Redman carded a 1-over 73.
The Tigers other freshman William Nottingham continued to struggle and his problem was equipment related. He broke his driver shortly before the start of the first round and had to use a teammates club in the first two rounds.
Nottingham is 6’4 and the next tallest player on the team is Doc Redman at 5’11.
He will have his own driver for the third round, but at 17-over par his rounds have not counted in the Clemson total so far.
If the Tigers hope to play in the fourth and final round of stroke play they need to play better than they have all year. After the second round the Tigers are 20 strokes below the cut line.
“We are just going to have to play hard tomorrow (Sunday) and do the best we can,” said Penley. “It will be difficult to accomplish (reach the top 15), if the weather is good all day because these teams are talented and I don’t’ see a lot of teams having high scores,” concluded the Clemson coach.