Columbus, OH-Clemson and Georgia Tech are tied for the lead after two rounds of the NCAA golf tournament at the Scarlet Course at Ohio State. Clemson and Tech are tied at 563, five under-par through two rounds. The two teams switched scores on Thursday. Tech shot a 286 on Thursday after shooting a 277 the first day. Clemson fired a 277 on Thursday after an opening 286.
Clemson's 277 total was the second best round of the day behind Texas, who played in the afternoon and shot 275.
Four of the top seven teams are from the ACC. In addition to Clemson and Tech tied at the top, North Carolina is tied for fourth at two-under par and NC State is seventh at one under. Toledo is third behind Clemson and Tech with a 564 score, just one stroke off the pace.
Clemson's D.J. Trahan shot a 66 on Thursday, tied for the low round of the day. He is tied for fourth overall heading into the third round with a 137 score. Gregg Jones, who has had a pair of 69s, is tied for seventh at 138. Individually Brock McKenzie has the individual lead with a -7 total. Dustin Bray of North Carolina is among the players at six under.
This is the first time since the second round of the 1999 tournament that Clemson has had the lead at the end of a round. Clemson had the lead after 36 holes in 1999 at Hazeltine.
D.J. Trahan 71-66 137
Gregg Jones 69-69 138
Ben Duncan 72-73 145
Matt Hendrix 77-70 147
Martin Catalioto 74-72 146
Clemson 563, Georgia Tech 563, Toledo 564, North Carolina 566, TCU 566, Texas 566, NC State 567, Florida 569, Tulsa 570, Washington 570
Summary At 3:45PM
Columbus, OH-D.J. Trahan shot a five-under-par 66 and Gregg Jones added his second straight 69 to lead Clemson to a 277 team score and a tie for the lead after two rounds of the NCAA Golf Tournament at the Scarlet Course in Columbus, OH. Clemson and Georgia Tech both have scores of 563 through two rounds. The two teams also tied for the championship of the NCAA East Regional in Roswell, GA two weeks ago. The Tigers and Georgia Tech were ranked as the top two teams in the nation entering the tournament.
This is just the second time in history that Clemson has had the lead at the end of an NCAA National Tournament round. The only other occasion was at Hazeltine in Chaska, MN in 1999. Clemson finished eighth that year.
Trahan stands at five under par after two rounds with a 137 score, and is in second place. Jones is at 138 after 36 holes and is also in the top 10. Ben Duncan is Clemson's third best scorer after two rounds with a 145. Duncan shot a 73 on Thursday to go with his 72 in the first round. Martin Catalioto shot a 72 on Thursday and is at 146 through two rounds. Matt Hendrix, who had a one-under-par 70 on Thursday, is at 147.
Clemson had to finish its first round on Thursday morning so the Tigers had to play between 20 and 22 total holes. Clemson remained at two over par for the first round and finished the round at 286, a tie for 14th place. But Clemson's 277 score was the best of the day and Clemson was able to leap frog over everyone but Tech.
Trahan's round of 66 tied for his career low at Clemson. It was his third round of 66 this year. It also tied for the second lowest NCAA Tournament round by a Clemson player in history. Mark Swygert had a 65 in the 1994 tournament and Charles Warren had a 66 in the 1998 event. Clemson's 277 team round tied for the second best team round in Clemson NCAA Tournament history. The team shot seven under par, the sixth best team round vs. par in Clemson history in an NCAA event.
Trahan began his round by hitting the ball within 10 feet on his approach shots on each of his first six holes. He made four of the birdie putts to go to four under. The shot that got him going was his second shot on the 11th hole, his second hole of the day. He drove the ball into a trap on the left side of the rough and had to hit the ball over trees 165 yards onto the green. He executed the shot to within six feet from the hole, then made the putt for birdie. He also had a birdie on the 505 yard par four 14th hole. He certainly picked up a shot on the field at that hole.
Jones shot his second straight 69. He has a shot to become the first golfer in Clemson history to shot in the 60s four consecutive rounds. He had four birdies and two bogeys on the day.
"I like our position," said Head Coach Larry Penley. "Tied with Georgia Tech after two rounds is a good position to be in. Tech has been number one and we have been in the top three all year. We have now played five NCAA Tournament rounds and have the same score as Tech.
"We hit a few more three woods and irons off the tee today and that meant we hit more fairways. The rough is thick here, so you have to hit the ball in the fairway. We had one of our better ball striking days of the year as a team. If we could have made some putts we could have gone very low today. The greens were soft and we attacked the pins. "
"I really hit the ball like I did on Wednesday," said Trahan. "Today I dropped some putts. I did hit more fairways and greens than I did yesterday, but overall I didn't play that much different. I couldn't score
on Wednesday and I did today. I got off to a good start today with a
birdie on 11. That is a tough hole, you figure you are one up on the field if you birdie there. The same goes for that 230-yard par three on the front side. That was a key birdie also.
"The team played very well today. Gregg shot another consistent 69 and Matt shot a 70. Really, we all played pretty well. This gives us confidence for the rest of the tournament."
"I hit the ball solid all day," said Clemson sophomore Gregg Jones. "I hit a lot good shots. I shot a 69 and it could have been much better. I burned the edge on several short putts. I had a few holes where I hit it close and just couldn't get a read on the putt."
"This was very uplifting for us," said Matt Hendrix. "We left some shots on the course, but played solid overall. Personally, I hit it much better today. I changed my philosophy with my tee shot. I tried to work the ball more to make sure I got it in the fairway. The rough is so long, it is tough to score when you are not in the fairway."
Clemson will begin play in the third round Friday morning at 8:00 AM. The final round is scheduled for Saturday.