Bryson Nimmer shot a 4-under par 68 to take over the lead at the NCAA Finals being played at the Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Nimmer opened the tournament with a record setting 64 and followed it up with a 3 over par 75, but bounced back on Sunday to finish the first three rounds at 207.
The Clemson junior holds a 2-shot lead over Brandon Mancheno of Auburn who stands at 209 going into the final round of medal play.
“This course sets up well for Bryson because you have to drive your golf ball accurately and that is something Bryson does. He hits fairways and greens and when he putts like he has this week, he has a chance (to win),” said Clemson coach Larry Penley.
The Clemson team started the day in comfortable position to make the 15 team cut, but the Tigers posted their worst round of the tournament to drop from 6th to 12th.
Clemson now is six shots above the cut line and also six shots below the eighth spot which they need to reach to advance to the match play tournament. If the Tigers can make up the six shots it will be the first time the team has made the Match Play final since the format was changed in 2009.
Doc Redman gave the Tigers two golfers in the top-10. The defending US Amateur champion shot a 2-over par 73 and now is at 4-under par 212 and tied for 7th.
However, the other four Tiger golfers have struggled to provide support for the two team leaders. Kyle Cottam, Colby Patton, Turk Pettit and William Nottingham have each carded rounds in the 80s.
“While we are in 12th place and have to finish eighth tomorrow to continue, we are only six shots behind the No. 8 team. That isn’t very much in college golf,” he said.
Penley has taken advantage of a new rule for the NCAA tournament which allows a substitute during the tournament.
The Tigers have used six golfers in the tournament with Nottingham subbing for Petit in the second round.
The Tiger freshman had to withdraw from the third round and Nottingham will again replace him in the remainder of the tournament.
Duke turned in the best round on Sunday when the Blue Devils shot a 12-under par team total to move up to the lead. Duke holds a 3-shot lead over Oklahoma State.