Clemson is in a 5-way tie for 10th place after the first round of the NCAA Championship at the Grayhawk Golf Club in Arizona.
The Tigers could have been a couple places closer to the lead if they played their final hole better.
The 520 yard par-4 18th hole added 3-strokes to the Clemson team total as three of the four golfers whose scores counted bogeyed the hole.
Tiger golfers were not the only ones who struggled on the hole. Of the top 60 individual scores 12 golfers made bogeys, 2 made doubles and only 3-golfers were able to birdie the hole. The monster par-4 hole was the toughest hole in the first round averaging 4.52 strokes.
“The 18 the hole is a very difficult hole, and when you don’t drive it in the fairway it becomes even more difficult,” said Clemson coach Larry Penley. “Hopefully we will correct some club selections and sight lines on some drives tomorrow,” he said.
Turk Pettit was the only Tiger to par the finishing hole. He ended his first round at 2-under par 68 and in a tie for 5th place.
Jacob Bridgeman was one of the Tigers who bogeyed 18. He finished at 1-over par 71 and is tied with 10 other golfers in 44th place.
“Turk Pettit and Jacob Bridgeman played great today. Jacob didn’t get much out of his round from a score standpoint, but he played well,” said Penley.
Texas Tech has the first round lead after shooting a 4-under par 276. Sam Houston is second at 2-under par with Pepperdine in third at 1-under par.
Generally the teams with earlier tee times fared a little better than those that played later in the day.
“We played in difficult conditions this afternoon. It was hot and the course got hard late in the day. We are actually looking forward to playing at 6:30 am tomorrow. The conditions should be perfect at that time. The course should be much softer with temperatures in the mid 70s,” he said.
The Tigers will again be grouped with North Carolina and Texas in the second round.
“I am confident we will play better tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a separation day as the higher ranked teams will get to play in the morning,” said the Clemson coach.
South Carolina’s Ryan Hall, playing as an individual, shot a 3-over par 73. He also bogeyed the 18th hole to finish in a tie for 73rd with 12 other golfers.
Georgia’s Trent Phillips from Boiling Springs carded a 2-over par 72 and is tied for 55th place. The Bulldog team is tied for 19th place.
The championship will play 3-rounds of stroke play before a cut is made to the final 15 teams. Those teams will play the final round to determine a stroke play individual champion.
The top 8-teams at the end of 72 holes will advance to the match play final to determine the NCAA team champion.
NCAA Championship scores from GolfStat http://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=22822