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Clemson Finishes 22nd at NCAA Golf Tournament

May 28, 2024

Clemson, SC—Clemson improved by five places in Sunday’s final team round of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship at the Omni LaCosta North Course in Carlsbad, California to finish 22nd in the nation. It is Clemson’s best finish at the men’s national tournament since 2021 when the Tigers finished tied for 13th.  It is the 27th top 25 NCAA finish in Clemson history.

Clemson was led on Sunday by Andrew Swanson, a junior from Bluffton, SC who shot a two-under-par 70.   Swanson finished the 54 holes with a score of 220, four over par.   He was one of three players tied for the eighth best score among players not on teams ranked in the top 15 after the third round.

Swanson will play in a three for two playoff on Monday morning at 11:30 am (eastern) for the right to play in the fourth round on Monday.   The other players in the playoff are Ethan Evans of Duke, who shot a 67 on Sunday, and Braxton Watts of Utah, who had a 73 on Sunday.

Swanson’s 70 on Sunday was the best round of the tournament by a Clemson golfer and tied for the best final round (team competition) at an NCAA national tournament by a Tiger since 2002.   Turk Pettit (2021) and Ben Martin (2010) both had rounds of 70 in the final round of those respective tournaments.

Swanson had four birdies and two bogeys on Sunday.   He made some clutch long shots over the round, including a bunker shot for birdie from 50 feet on the 17th hole, his eighth hole of the day, and a 20-foot putt for par on the seventh hole, his 16th hole of the day.

Then, on the ninth hole, his final hole of the day, he made a 55-foot putt for bogey that allowed him to get into Monday’s playoff for the final individual spots in the final round of stroke play.

Swanson had rounds of 75-75 for the first 36 holes before  his 70 on Sunday.  He finished in a tie for 27th in the individual race.   For the first three rounds, he has a Clemson team best 10 birdies, and his 4.58 average on par five holes, was sixth best in the field.

Clemson was seeded 28th entering the tournament, but finished six places above that pre-tournament ranking.  Among the teams Clemson finished above at the tournament were #17 seed New Mexico, #18 seed Oklahoma State,  #19 seed Purdue, #22 seed Notre Dame and #25 North Florida.

Clemson had a final round team score of 297, its best of the tournament and tied for 17th best among the 30 schools that competed on Sunday.   Clemson finished the 54 holes with a team score of 906, 42-over-par on the difficult course that saw the 156 golfers average 75.5 for the three days.

The top 15 teams in the standings will advance to the fourth and final round on Monday.  The list of teams advancing include ACC teams Virginia (2nd), Florida State (4th), North Carolina (6th), and Georgia Tech (9th).  Wake Forest finished 16th and missed the cut by just two shots.

Jonathan Nielsen had a one-over-par 73 on Sunday and finished the tournament in a tie for 40th.  He was six-over-par with a 222 score of his 54 holes and finishes the season with a team best 71.05 stroke average, 20 under-par rounds, and 15 rounds in the 60s all among the best in Clemson history.  His 71.05 average is tied for 15th best in Clemson history.

Calahan Keever made an eight-shot improvement over his second round and finished with a 75 on Sunday.  He finished with a 54-hole score of 19-over-par 235.   Thomas Higgins had a 79 on Sunday and also finished at 235 for 54 holes.  Both players tied for 131st in the field.

Sean Curran, playing in his first tournament of the year in Clemson lineup, had a rough start, as he was seven-over-par for his first six holes.  He played the next 11 holes at even par before finishing with a double bogey on his final hole and an 81 for the round.

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Clemson Finishes 22nd at NCAA Golf Tournament

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