Clemson Three Shots off Cutline Entering Final Round


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Nashville, TNClemson senior Jack Ferguson birdied two of his last three holes and fired a one-under-par 70 to lead Clemson to a 287 team score in the second round of the NCAA East Regional in Nashville, TN. The Tigers stand in 12th place and are just three shots off the 10th place cutline entering Saturday's final round on the par 71 Golf Club of Tennessee layout.


The top 10 teams in the 27-team NCAA East Regional will advance to the National Championship at Caves Valley in Baltimore, MD May 31 through
June 3. Clemson stands at five-over par 573 through 36 holes, four shots
off the 569 by 10th place Georgia Southern. The Tigers are the three-time defending champion of the East Regional.

Clemson has qualified for the NCAA Championship finals every year the NCAA has had a regional tournament (since 1989), and has played in the National Championship tournament every year since 1982. Clemson's run of
23 consecutive years in the finals is second only to Oklahoma State's active streak of 59 consecutive years.

This is just the second time Clemson has entered the final round of the regional outside the cutline. Clemson was 12th entering the third and final round of the NCAA East Regional at West Point, NY in 1996. But Clemson shot a 294 in the final round and finished in a tie for eighth and
qualified for the NCAA Finals. The closest Clemson has come to missing
the cut came in the 1999 East Regional at Rhode Island when Clemson had to defeat Mississippi State in a playoff for the 10th and final spot.

Wake Forest, who finished sixth at the ACC Tournament last month, stands in first place after two rounds of the NCAA East Regional with a 554 score, 14 under par. The Demon Deacons were 13 under par for the first round and one under on Friday. Florida shot a 14-under par 270 on Friday
and stands in second place at 11 under par, 557. Georgia and Tennessee
are tied for third at 558, while ACC Champion Duke, who shot 12 under par on Friday, is fifth at 559.

Ferguson was Clemson's leader on Friday with his round of 70 that included a three-under par 33 on the front nine, his final nine holes of the day. It was a strong comeback for the Tiger from Seneca, SC as he played his first nine holes two over par, including bogeys on the 17th and
18th holes, his last two holes of his first nine. But, he finished strong
with a birdie on the par five seventh, and a birdie on the par four ninth. He rolled in a 35-foot putt for birdie on nine, the longest putt made by a Tiger all day.


Ferguson now has rounds of 71-70, much improved over his performance at the East Regional last year at Yale when he had three consecutive rounds of four over par 74 and finished 54th individually. He now has 64 rounds at par or better in his Clemson career eighth best in Clemson history. He stands in the top 25 in the individual race of this tournament entering the final round.

Stephen Poole had another outstanding round for the Tigers and is Clemson's top golfer overall for the first 36 holes. After shooting a season best three-under-par 68 on Thursday, Poole fired a 72 in the second
round on Friday. The junior from Spartanburg got off to a rough start
when he was three over par for his first five holes, including a double bogey on the par three 14th hole, his fifth hole of the day.

But, Poole birdied the 17th, his eight of the day, then birdied the first hole to get back to one over. He reached even par when he birdied the seventh hole, his 16th of the day, a three-shot improvement
over his score on that hole on Thursday. He bogeyed the ninth hole, his
final hole of the day, but still had a solid round of 72 to show for his efforts. Poole's 140 total for the first two rounds stands 19th in the individual race.

Tanner Ervin was Clemson's most improved player on Friday, improving from an 80 in the first round to a 73 in the second. His two over par round included a strong birdie on the par five fifth hole, the only Tiger to birdie the hole on the day. The improvement was typical for Ervin, who has improved from his first round to his second in all five
tournaments he has played at Clemson. He made a 10-shot improvement from
round one to round two at the ACC Tournament in April and has actually improved from round two to round three in each of his last three events.

Senior Brent Delahoussaye, who was Clemson's top golfer at the NCAA East Regional last year, shot a 73 on Friday and stands at 147 after two rounds. He was two under par after eight holes, including a two-putt birdie on the 11th hole, but he double bogeyed the 18th hole, his ninth hole of the day. Brian Duncan shot a 76 on Friday and his score did not count towards the Clemson team score, but he stands at 148 overall for the tournament after a solid 72 on Thursday.

"It will probably take a team round in the 270s for us to make the cut,"said Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley after the round. "We are capable
of doing that, but we haven't done it thus far. We have to play smart and
not make any big scores. We had to count two double bogeys on Friday. We can't have any of that on Saturday.

"We have to make birdies on the par fives, especially the seventh,
11th and 17th holes. Many times we have been just short of the green, but
haven't been able to get up and down for birdie. We have to do that on Saturday if we are going to make the cut and reach the finals at Caves Valley. "


Clemson Scores at NCAA East Regional


Stephen Poole           68      72      140     -2
Jack Ferguson           71      70      141     -1
Brent Delahoussaye      74      72      145     +4
Brian Duncan            72      76      148     +6
Tanner Ervin            80      73      153     +11
Clemson team            285     288     573     +5

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