Roswell, GA-D.J. Trahan rolled in a six-foot par putt on the 18th
hole, to bring Clemson into a first-place tie and co-championship
honors at the NCAA East Regional at Settindown Creek Country Club in
Roswell, GA on Saturday afternoon.
Trahan closed with a final round 71 and won the individual
title by three strokes. Clemson finished in a tie with Georgia Tech
at 876 for the team title. The NCAA holds regional tournaments as
qualifiers for the national tournament, so there was no playoff for
the team championship. The two ACC rivals will both claim the
All three regional championships ended with co-champions.
Oklahoma State and Purdue tied for the Central Regional Championship,
while New Mexico and Washington tied for the West Regional title.
The top 10 teams in the 27 team field advance to the National
Championship tournament at Ohio State May 29-June 1. In addition to
Clemson and Georgia Tech, North Carolina (877), Augusta State (885),
Virginia Commonwealth (888), Georgia Southern (891), Auburn (893),
Georgia (896), Florida (899) and UAB (899) all advanced. The list of
teams from the East who failed to advance included third ranked Wake
Forest (900) and ninth ranked Tennessee (904).
It was the fifth regional championship for Clemson, all under
Larry Penley. The Tigers also won a regional in 1993-94-95 and 2000.
Clemson has more East Regional titles than any other school and now
ties Arizona and Arizona State for the most regional championships
regardless of area of the country. Trahan's individual title was the
first regional championship for a Clemson golfer since 1994 when Mark
Swygert won the title at Auburn, AL.
Trahan finished with a 210 total for the three days, three
shots better than Bob Cherry of North Carolina, who also shot a 71 on
Saturday. Tyler McKeever of Georgia Southern and Brandt Snedeker of
Vanderbilt were tied for third at 214. Those were the only players
in the 141 player field who broke par over the three days.
It was the third win of the year for Trahan, who also won the
Carpet Classic and the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in the fall. He
became the first Clemson player to win three tournaments in the same
academic year. The victory was his ninth top 10 finish of the year,
also a Clemson single season record.
"It was a scrambling round," said Trahan, who had three
birdies and two bogeys in the round. "I did not drive the ball that
well, but I was able to get up and down, that was the key." Trahan
hit his second shot on the par four 18th hole into a trap at the
right of the green. He exploded to within six feet past the hole,
then made the putt coming back.
"I did not know that I needed to make the last putt to tie
the team championship," said Trahan. "I looked at the scoreboard
coming up the 18th fairway, but the scores were behind. I just
wanted to get up and down and do the best I could."
Trahan's round included a birdie at the par five 16th hole.
He hit his approach shot to within two feet of the cup, then made the
putt. Another highlight of the round came on the par four 13th hole.
He drove the ball into the woods. He faded a 150-yard shot around a
tree onto the green, then two putted to save par.
"D.J. Trahan proved again why he is the best player in the
country," said Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley. "In Clemson we call
it the Eye of the Tiger. He has it. He has been doing that since he
was 13 years old."
Trahan was the only Tiger to break 75 on Saturday. The
course proved to be very difficult as the wind was swirling most of
the day. Sophomore Gregg Jones shot a 76 to finish with a 220 score
and a 13th place finish.
Martin Catalioto and Matt Hendrix both had rounds of 76 that
counted towards Clemson's team total. Hendrix double bogeyed the
first two holes, then played even par golf the rest of the way. He
had an eagle three on the 16th hole and that proved to be very
important coming down the stretch. Ben Duncan shot a 77 on Saturday,
but his 225 total for the 54 holes was second behind Trahan and Jones
among Clemson golfers.
Clemson at NCAA East Regional
D.J. Trahan 69-70-71 210 -6 1st
Gregg Jones 71-73-76 220 +4 13th
Ben Duncan 73-75-77 225 +9
Matt Hendrix 73-77-76 226 +10
Martin Catalioto 77-73-76 226 +10
Clemson Team 286-291-299 876 +12 First