Clemson has 8-shot lead entering final round of ACC
New London, N.C.—Miller Capps and Austin Langdale both had rounds of three-under par 69 on Saturday to lead Clemson to an eight-shot lead entering the final round of the ACC Men’s Golf Championship at The Old North State Club in New London, N.C. The final round of the 12-team tournament will be played Sunday on the par 72 course.
Clemson will be paired with WakeForest and FloridaState in the final round. The Tigers will begin action at 9:30 a.m. off the first tee.
Clemson has a team score of 557 through 36 holes. The Tigers are at 19-under par, eight shots ahead of the Demon Deacons. Clemson shot 11 shots worse than its opening round 273, but doubled its lead from four shots to eight. That was an indication that the playing conditions were much more difficult on Saturday. The temperature was 72 degrees and sunny, but the wind kicked up much more often that Friday’s first round, especially late in the day.
As stated, Clemson is in first place with a 557 score and WakeForest is second with a 565 total. FloridaState, the number-one seed entering the tournament, is third at 571. Georgia Tech, the defending champion, is fourth along with Virginia at 575. Duke is sixth at 576, followed by NC State at 577 and Louisville at 580.
Capps and Langdale were two of six players in the 60 player field to shoot a 69 on Saturday. Capps’s round included his first eagle of the year, on the par five 11th hole. He also finished with a birdie on the 18th hole. He was the only Clemson player to shoot under par for the final three holes. His 139 total through 36 holes is tied for fourth in the individual race.
Capps, who will graduate from Clemson on May 7, had three birdies and the eagle on Saturday. He now has 397 career birdies entering Sunday’s final round and needs three more to become the sixth Clemson golfer with at least 400 birdies.
Langdale was six-under-par for the day and nine-under-par for the tournament through 15 holes after making four birdies in a five-hole run. But he hit his second shot into the wind, into the water on the 16th hole and made a double bogey. He finished with a bogey on 17 and a par on 18.
Langdale is tied for second place with a 138 total after consecutive rounds of 69. He is just the fourth golfer in Clemson history to score in the 60s in each of his first two rounds of an ACC Tournament. The others to do it are Charles Warren in 1998, Jack Ferguson in 2004 and Brian Duncan in 2006.
Langdale is tied for second with Clemson freshman Bryson Nimmer, who had a 71 on Saturday after an opening round 67. Nimmer was three under par through 10 holes, including a 25-foot par putt on the ninth hole that kept his momentum. Nimmer’s 138 total through two rounds is the lowest in Clemson history by a freshman at an ACC Tournament.
Nimmer and Langdale both trail Davis Womble of Wake Forest by one shot.
Graduate Stephen Behr shot a 75 on Saturday as a double bogey on the par five fourth hole ruined his round. Behr is still in the top 11 thanks to an opening round 67. He has a 142 total through 36 holes. Junior Carson Young also found trouble on the difficult 16th hole and made a triple bogey on the way to a four over par 76.
“I was very pleased with what I saw for the first 15 holes,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “But the last three holes were a challenge for our guys. We have some players with a bad taste in their mouth and they need to refocus for tomorrow. We are getting ready to do that on the practice area.
“The last three holes were playing difficult when the wind kicked up. But we have to handle that tomorrow. We have to continue to play aggressive. WakeForest and FloridaState are going to play well tomorrow. We have to go out and make more birdies. Making pars isn’t going to get it done on this course.”