Last year, Larry Penley’s golf team followed the Clemson football team and won an ACC Championship for the first time since 2004. Now, as the Tigers get set to defend their ACC title at Clinton’s Musgrove Mill some wonder if the golf program can follow the football team again and win a second straight ACC Championship and contend for a national championship as well.
“Absolutely we can contend for a championship. I think we can win one,” senior Carson Young said. “We have the team to do it. Our freshmen have stepped up big time and Doc (Redman) is one of the best players in the country. He is top 15 in the country. To have that, I think we can definitely win a championship this year. We just have to put our minds to it and do the best that we can.”
So far Clemson’s best has been one of the best in the country. The Tigers have won five of their last six tournaments, including a school-record five straight this spring before last week’s second place finish at NC State’s Wolfpack Spring Open. They are the only team in the country with five tournament wins this spring.
Clemson heads into Friday’s ACC Championships as the No. 2 overall seed thanks to its No. 15 national ranking.
“We did not really have any expectations when it came to results. We just wanted to come out and compete every week,” Redman said. “I think we have been lucky enough to go out there this spring and finish the job five times and come in second once. It was really special.”
So how special can these Tigers be? Can they be as special as the football team?
Young has been Clemson’s top player of late with a top three finish in each of his last three tournaments, including a victory at the Furman Invitational. Redman has the top stroke average on the team at 70.10 and has a Clemson freshman record seven top 10 finishes.
Bryson Nimmer, a national top 100 player by Golfstat, and William Nottingham, who had a Clemson record 62 in the second round last week, is will also be in Penley’s lineup this week.
“I think Carson and Austin (Langdale) have really helped. They are starting to play excellent golf,” Redman said. “Unfortunately Austin did not play last week, but Carson is playing amazing. I think we are brothers. We have a great time out there competing with each other and competing against each other. You know, we push each other to do the best we can.”
Langdale is listed as questionable for the ACC Tournament because of a wrist injury. He is fourth on the team with a 72.06 stroke average.
—Photo courtesy Clemson Athletic Communications