+ College Golf

Gamecocks win at Palmetto, Tigers win at Pinehurst #2

The Clemson Tigers won their first tournament under the direction of new coach Jordan Byrd. The Tigers scored a 16 shot victory at the Wake Forest Invitational played at Pinehurst on the famous Pinehurst #2 course. (Clemson Photo)

It was a very good day for South Carolina and Clemson as each team not only won tournaments on great golf courses against very good fields, but each team won their tournament convincingly.

Clemson wins at Pinehurst #2, Patton and Gordon share individual title

Clemson took a 10 shot lead into the final round of the Wake Forest Invitational being played on the Pinehurst #2 course. The course has been the site of US Opens and US Amateurs and is always ranked among the top-10 courses in the country..

The Tigers never gave the rest of the field any hope they could catch Clemson in the final round.

The Tigers shot their best round of the 54 hole event posting a 2-under par 278 total to stretch their lead to 16 shots by the end of the tournament.

Duke finished second with the host team from Wake Forest in third place.

The Tigers scored an impressive wire to wire team win and two Clemson golfers battled for the individual title.

Super-senior Colby Patton held the lead after the first 36 holes. Teammate Zach Gordon led during the first round and was just 2-shots behind Patton to start the final day.

While other golfers challenged the pair of Tigers, Patton and Gordon ended the 54 hole event tied at 2-over par to share the win.

Because of time and travel schedules very few college tournaments hold playoffs to break ties.

Tiger teammates Zach Gordon and Colby Patton shared medalist honors at the Wake Forest Invitational. (Twitter Photo)

The shared win was the first college victory for Gordon and the first for Patton since he won The Hummingbird Intercollegiate in his freshman year.

“Colby really drove the ball well and his high ball flight on his approaches to the green were effective,” said Clemson coach Jordan Byrd. “We thought Zack would do well here because he has played the course a lot and had success in the North & South,” he said.

Teams don’t win tournaments by 16 shots with just the play of two golfers.

Sophomore Carter Pendley shot a final round even par 70 to tie for 7th place. Another Clemson Super-Senior Kyle Cottam carded a 2-under par 68 to give the Tigers their fourth golfer in the top-10 in 8th place.

“I was really proud of Carter Pendley. He really came back strong and was a big reason we won this week,” said Byrd.

The teams performance earned Byrd his first tournament title as the Clemson coach.

“I was pleased with our performance the entire tournament,” said Byrd.

The tie for the top spot happened only once before in the Clemson record book.

Patton’s father Chris, the 1989 US Amateur champion and All-American at Clemson tied with teammate Kevin Johnson for the top spot at the 1987 Gamecock Intercollegiate.

NOTE: The Tigers played the tournament without All-American Jacob Bridgeman. The Clemson senior was attempting to qualify for a spot on the PGA Tour’s MacKenzie Tour at a Qualifying tournament in Dothan, Alabama.

In past years, other Tiger seniors were given the opportunity to miss a tournament to attempt to win some status on a PGA affiliated Tour after they completed their final college season.

Wake Forest Invitational https://results.golfstat.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=24782

The Gamecocks won the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken. (USC Photo)

South Carolina and Hall win in Aiken

Led by All-American Ryan Hall and top-ten finishes from Jack Wall and Rafe Reynolds South Carolina claimed their second tournament title of the year with a win at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate played at the historic Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken.

Hall, who is on every major award’s watch list, opened the tournament with a 6-under par 64 and finished with a 5-shot victory over teammate Wall.

“It was a great tournament for our team and particularly Ryan and Jack,” said head coach Bill McDonald. “They played some incredible golf in tough conditions, and I was really proud of how the entire team responded when things got a little too close on the back nine,” he said.

Virginia was the only team that had a slim chance to catch the Gamecocks. The Cavaliers cut into the 10-shot USC lead, but were not able to get closer than 10-shots the final victory margin for the Gamecocks.

“Virginia has a good team and they made a nice run at us. Our guys should gain a lot of confidence from this win. We prepared well and executed with commitment when it counted the most. I’m a proud coach,” said McDonald.

Ryan Hall shot a first round 6-under par 64 to take the individual lead and held on to it for the win at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate (USC Photo)

South Carolina has now won the Palmetto Intercollegiate five times, four trophies coming under McDonald’s direction (2015, 2016, 2019 and 2022).

The Gamecocks go back into competition again this week starting Sunday at the General Hackler Championship in Conway and the Dunes Golf & Beach Club in Myrtle Beach.

Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate scores https://results.golfstat.com//public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=24049

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