It was a good weekend for Clemson golfers. Both the women’s and mens team set scoring records and both finished fourth in their respective tournaments.
The Clemson women were led by Ana Paula Valdes. The junior from Mexico won her first college tournament by sharing medalist honors at The Battle at the Beach in Cabo, TX.
The men, playing in Hawaii shot a new school record of 22-under par in the opening round of the Ka’anapali Classic in Lahaina, Hawaii. The team’s score was 2-shots better than the previous record of 280 set on the same course two years ago and tied in two other tournaments.
The Clemson women, led by Valdes, set a new record for a single round score. While Valdes was shooting her 65 the team posted a score of 274 to break the old single round record by two shots.“
“We struggled the first day, but fought back,” said Clemson coach Kelley Hester. “I was pleased with how we competed and beat several teams ranked ahead of us,” she said.
Valdes birdied three of her last six holes to pull even with Kaleigh Telfer at the end of the 54 hole event. Valdes was awarded the championship trophy because her final round score was one shot better than the Auburn golfers.
Senior Alice Hewson was 2-under par in her final two rounds to finish in a tie for 16th. Clemson freshmen Ivey Shepherd, Gracyn Burgess and Alexandra Swain contributed to the new team record.
Auburn won the team title posting a 7-under par total. TCU and Texas rounded out the top three. The Tigers finished at 14 over par in their last tournament of the fall season.
In the mens tournament in Hawaii freshman Zack Gordon tied for the individual lead in the first round after posting an 8-under par 63. Gordon made 7-birdies an eagle and only one bogey in his round.
The Tiger freshman was one of three Clemson golfers setting individual career best records.
Gordon’s fellow freshman, Jacob Bridgeman, cut five shots off par shooting a 66 for the best score of his early Clemson career.
Senior Bryson Nimmer shot a 3-under par 68 and sophomore William Nottingham finished at 1-under par 70 in the opening round.
Sophomore Turk Pettit carded a 6-under par 65 for his career best round and then bettered that score by one shot in the final round. Pettit’s final round 7-under par 64 allowed him to move up 19 places and finish in sixth.
Bridgeman, a three-time South Carolina High School champion, made five straight birdies to start his final round. He finished with a 3-under par 68 for ninth place, his second top-10 finish this fall.
Gordon used his opening round success to earn a 15th place finish, his best of the year.
The Tigers finished behind California, North Florida and Oklahoma for their fourth 4th place finish. Clemson’s other fall finishes included a shared title at the Nicklaus Match Play and second at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate.
The Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic was the final tournament of the fall season for th Clemson men.
Notes from the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic.
Georgia finished in sixth place and South Carolina was seventh.
The Gamecock’s Scott Stevens finished in a tie for sixth place at 10-under par.
Georgia was led by Trent Phillips from Inman. Phillips finished in a tie for 11th at 8-under par. The Bulldog freshman has had an outstanding start to his college career.
Phillips finished third at the Carmel Cup, third at the Nike Golf Collegiate, second at the Jim Rivers Invitational and defeated Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer at the Jack Nicklaus Invitational.
The 3-time South Carolina Junior player of the year started his college career shooting 10 straight rounds in the 60s before he finished the tournament in Hawaii with a 1-under par 70.
Phillips has been named to the Fred Haskins Award watch list. The Haskins Award is college golf’s equivalent of the Heisman Trophy for college football.