+ College Golf

Tigers and Bridgeman lead season opener

Clemson coach Larry Penley begins his final season as the Tigers coach with his team holding the first round lead in its first tournament of the season. (GolfClub file photo)

Before traveling to the first tournament of the season Clemson coach Larry Penley talked about how much golf his team had played since the pandemic ended the last college season almost before it started.

“We have done a good job getting ready to play,” said Penley. ” The competitive juices have been building up because we have waited a long time to play. Now I want the guys to relax have fun and play good,” said Penley.

In the first round of the Camp Creek Championship the Tigers did just that.

Clemson was first off the tee and set a blistering pace to claim a 6-shot lead by the end of the first round,

Led by Jacob Bridgeman’s record setting 8-under par 64 Clemson shot a team total 12-under par 276.

Clemson leads Wake Forest by 6-shots and Duke by 5 going into the second round.

Bridgeman, who won the last tournament the Tigers played before the season was shut down, seemed to pick up where he left off last March.

The Tiger junior broke All-American Matt Hendrix’s record for an opening round in a new season. Bridgeman’s 64 was a shot better than Hendrix posted to begin the 2002 season when Clemson won the National Championship.

“The longest par putt I had all day was on the 18th hole, a five-footer,” said Bridgeman. “That was the only stressful par I had all day,” he said.

In addition to the opening round record, Bridgeman’s 64 tied his career best round. It was his best round by 2-shots in terms of shots versus par.

Jacob Bridgeman lines up a birdie putt during the opening round of the Camp Creek Seminole Invitational., (Clemson twitter photo)

“Jacob played great all day,” said Penley. “He hit all but two fairways and hit all 18 greens.  It was fun to watch.,” added the coach.

Parker Gilliam and Mark Power from Wake Forest along with Cole Anderson are tied for second place 3-shots behind Bridgeman.

Colby Patton and Kyle Cottam each finished at 3-under par to help Bridgeman put the Tigers in the lead.

The two Clemson golfers are tied for 6th place individually. William Nottingham and Turk Pettit each shot rounds of 2-over par to be tied for 33rd.

ACC teams are using a similar format to the one used by the SEC when they played three tournaments last fall.

The SEC played each team’s five golfers in the same group in each round of the tournament due to health concerns because of the pandemic.

The tournament field is made up of only ACC teams. Each team brought six golfers to the event, with each three-some made up of golfers from the same school. One of the six players as an individual entrant while team scoring is done using the traditional five play, count four formula.

“We played well today, but we have room to improve. We had four 6s on par five holes today.  When we clean that up we will win some golf tournaments,” concluded Clemson’s head coach.

Complete scoring at http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=21849

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