Final Notes on Clemson Golf National Title


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*Clemson won its first NCAA Golf Championship and fourth NCAA team
title in school history with its victory at Karsten Creek on May 30,
2003. Clemson won the event on Oklahoma State's home course. The
Cowboys had won nine NCAA titles, including eight under current coach
Mike Holder.


*Clemson has now been to the NCAA national tournament 22 consecutive
years, 20 in a row under Larry Penley. Only Oklahoma State with 57
in a row has a longer streak than Clemson.


*Clemson had a final round of 303, ironically, its high round of the
year. In fact, it was the high round for a Clemson team over 66
rounds dating back to last year. Clemson enters the 2003-04 season
with a streak of 18 consecutive top three finishes, a Clemson record.


*Clemson had a 287 team round in the third round, the only under par
team round of the tournament. Only one individual was under par out
of the 156-player field, an indication of the difficulty of the
Karsten Creek Course.


*Larry Penley was named National Coach of the Year by the Golf
Coach's Association after his team won the NCAA Tournament. He was
the first Clemson coach in any sport to win a National Coach of the
Year award since Bob Pollock was named Indoor Track and Field Coach
of the Year in 1992. Other Clemson coaches to win National Coach of
the Year have been Danny Ford (football, 1981) and Chuck Kriese
(men's tennis 1981, and 1986).


*Clemson had three players named to All-America teams at the
conclusion of the season. D.J. Trahan was named first team, Jack
Ferguson was a second-team selection and Matt Hendrix was a third
team choice. Gregg Jones was an all-district selection along with
the aforementioned players. All four were also named All-ACC.
Jones was a second-team All-American in 2002, meaning Clemson will
have three returning players for 2004 who have been named first,
second or third team All-American at some time in their career. The
2004 team will be the first in school history with three returning
All-Americans.


*This was just the second team in Clemson history with three
different players named first, second or third team All-American.
The 1999-00 team also had one player named to each team. That year
Lucas Glover was a first-team selection, John Engler was named second
team and Jonathan Byrd was a third-team selection. Clemson has now
had at least one first-team All-American for seven straight years.
Clemson has had 13 first-team selections, seven second-team choices
and six third-team selections to go with 19 honorable mentions in
Penley's 20 years as head coach.


*Trahan became the fifth two-time first-team All-American in Clemson
history. He is joined by Chris Patton (1989-90), Charles Warren
(1997-98), John Engler (1999-01), and Lucas Glover (2000-01).


*The par five 624-yard ninth hole proved to be pivotal for Clemson
during the tournament. Clemson's five players were a combined
12-under-par, including four under during the last round. That was
Clemson's best hole of the tournament. Clemson's five players were
under par for the tournament on five of the 18 holes. Clemson played
the difficult 17th hole at 16 over, including six-over par by Jack
Ferguson, Clemson's top player at the event. Ferguson was six over
for the 17th and just four-over on the other 17 holes combined.


*With Clemson's national championship, the program now has three
consecutive top three finishes. The Clemson golf team was second in
the nation at the 2001 NCAA Tournament and third in 2002. This is
the first time in school history a sports program has had three
straight top three finishes. Gregg Jones and D.J. Trahan were
starters on all three teams, making them the only athletes in Clemson
history to start on three different teams ranked in the top three in
the nation. Jones will have a chance to make it four in a row next
year.


*With its victory at the NCAA Tournament, Clemson became the first
golf program in history to win its conference, NCAA regional and NCAA
national championships in the same year.


*Ben Duncan was a key to the victory for Clemson. The graduate had
an opening round 85, then saw his score count towards Clemson's team
total each of the last three days. That included a 73 in the second
round that was the best score by a Clemson golfer that day. When he
went from an 85 the first day to 73 the second it tied the Clemson
record for improvement from one round to the next in NCAA national
tournament play. Mark Swygert also had a 12-stroke improvement
during he 1991 NCAA Tournament at Poppy Hills, CA when he went from
an 83 to a 71 between the third and final rounds.


*Clemson won the NCAA Tournament with a balanced squad. Clemson did
not have a player finish in the top 15 of the individual race, but
was the only team in the 30-team field with five players in the top
52.


*Next year Clemson will attempt to become the first team to repeat as
NCAA Champion since Houston in 1985. The Cougars won the 1984 and
1985 events. Eight different teams have won the NCAA golf
championship over the last eight years.


*Clemson accomplished quite a bit in 2002-03, but they did not set
the school record for team stroke average. But, they did come
close! The 1999-00 team still holds the mark with a 71.317 stroke
average. The 2002-03 Clemson team had a 71.320 average. This
year's team had 11,126 (counting) strokes as a team. Had they had
11,125, they would have broke the record. In other words, they
missed the record by just one stroke over the entire season.


*During the third round of play Ben Duncan became the first Clemson
golfer to kill a snake during an NCAA Tournament. While surviving a
long wait on the 16th tee, he spied the snake making its way to the
tee area. He solved the problem with a five iron.


*It was a strong year for ACC Golf, as five of the top 15 and six of
the top 20 at the NCAA were from the ACC.


*Clemson had three of the top 10 rated players in the nation
according to the final Golfweek/Sagarin poll. D.J. Trahan was
second, Jack Ferguson was fifth and Matt Hendrix was ninth. It
marked the first time Clemson had three of the top 10 players in the
final rankings. The ACC had five of the top 10 players listed.


*Clemson finished the season with six tournament victories, a school
record. The previous record was five, held by the 1986-87, 1987-88
and 1998-99 Clemson teams.


*Larry Penley now has 54 career tournament victories, including the
six this year. He is believed to be second to Mike Holder (Oklahoma
State) among active coaches in terms of tournament victories. He has
now tied former Clemson soccer coach Dr. I.M. Ibrahim for the most
top 25 seasons in a career with 19. Only one of his first 20 Clemson
golf teams has failed to finish a season in the top 25. Penley now
has 17 top 20 teams, 10 top 10s and seven top five finishes. He is
second to Ibrahim in all three areas.

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