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Clemson Opens Play at NCAA Championship Golf tournament Friday

May 24, 2024
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Clemson, SC—Clemson will open play at the NCAA Men’s Golf Tournament at the Omni LaCosta Resort in Carlsbad, California, on Friday, May 24. The Tigers will be paired with players from West Virginia and Utah at the par 72 course, which is hosting the event for the first time.

All 30 teams will play three rounds of stroke play, 18 holes a day, Friday through Sunday.  The top 15 teams will advance to a fourth round on Monday.  An individual champion will be crowned after play Monday.  The top eight teams after Monday’s fourth round will advance to the Match Play tournament that will determine the overall team champion on Wednesday.

Clemson is the #28 seed in the 30-team tournament. Clemson qualified by winning the Chapel Hill Regional at the Finley Course on May 15. Clemson was the #10 seed at the Chapel Hill Regional, but surprised the field by shooting 25-under-par 815, a school record for total score and score vs par at an NCAA Regional Tournament.

Clemson became the first school to win an NCAA Regional as a double-digit seed on May 15, then West Virginia duplicated the feat later in the day. Now the two schools will play together for the first two rounds.

Clemson’s first player to tee off will be Alberto Dominguez at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time, 11:30 a.m. on the east coast. Calahan Keever will follow in the 8:41 a.m. tee time.  Andrew Swanson begins his first national tournament at 8:52 a.m. Pacific, and Thomas Higgins will follow at 9:03 a.m. Jonathan Nielsen, Clemson’s top player, will be the last Tiger off the tee at 9:14 a.m.

Nielsen has had an outstanding season with six top 10 finishes and a team best 70.79 stroke average, 11th best in school history.  He has 20 under-par rounds, including 15 rounds in the 60s, tied for third in Clemson history for a single season.

Keever is second on the team in stroke average for the year at 72.21.  He was Clemson’s top player at the Chapel Hill Regional with a fifth-place finish.  His 200 score included rounds of 65-65 for his first 36 holes, the best 36-hole start to an NCAA Tournament in Clemson history, just one shot off the 36-hole record for any tournament.

Higgins's 72.32 average for the year is third best on the team. He was Clemson’s third-best player at the Chapel Hill Regional with a 204 score, good enough for 14th place. His second-round 63 was the best score in Clemson history in any NCAA Tournament.  

Swanson has a 72.50 stroke average for the year and has nine under-par rounds, including six in the 60s. He had consistent rounds of 71-71-70 at the Chapel Hill Regional. The native of Bluffton, SC is a veteran of 25 tournaments and has five career top 10 finishes.  

Dominguez rounds out the Clemson lineup with a 72.72 stroke average for is 29 rounds.  

This will be Clemson’s 34th appearance at the NCAA National Tournament, its first since 2021. Clemson won the tournament in 2003 at Oklahoma State. Clemson has finished in the top eight of the tournament eight times but has yet to reach the match-play championship since the format began in 2009.

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Clemson Opens Play at NCAA Championship Golf tournament Friday

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