By Staff Report.
Greenville, SC—Freshman Thomas Bradshaw fired a tournament record tying 64, and Crawford Reeves and McCuen Elmore added career best tying rounds, in leading Clemson to a 12-shot victory at the Furman Invitational on Sunday. It was the second consecutive year that Clemson entered the final round of the Furman Invitational facing a deficit only to rally in the final round to register a double digit victory.
Clemson trailed Kennesaw State and Virginia Tech by four shots entering the final round Sunday afternoon. But the Tigers had a team round of 272 on Sunday, 16-under par. It was the best round by a Clemson team since the Tigers shot a 20 under par 268 at the 2006 ACC Tournament. Clemson’s 272 broke the Furman Invitation record of 276 by Ohio State in the first round of the 1997 event. It was also the lowest final round of a Clemson team since the 2003 Jerry Pate Invitational when the Tigers had a final round 269 score.
Clemson finished with an 848 team score for the three day event, 16-under par. Kennesaw State was second at 860 and Virginia Tech was third at 862. Clemson’s 272 team score on Sunday was 16 shots better than any other team.
It was the 61st career victory for Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley, fifth in NCAA golf history for a coach at one school. “We have been looking for someone to step up and Thomas Bradshaw did that today,” said Penley. “He stepped up in a big way with a 64. But, we had great performances by other players as well. We have been waiting for a team performance like this. We knew we were capable of it.”
Bradshaw’s 64 was just one shot off the Clemson all-time record of a 63 by Brad Clark, set in the second round of the 1985 ACC Tournament. Bradshaw was just two under for the front nine, then caught fire on the back side when he fired a six under par 30. His back nine included an eagle on the par five 15th hole when he made a shot out of the bunker. He nearly made a shot from the fairway on the 17th hole, then made a four footer for birdie to get to eight under for the day. He had a 15 foot up hill birdie putt on 18 to tie Clark ’s record, but missed the shot by just an inch on the left side.
Bradshaw’s 64 tied the Furman Invitational record for low round. Jodie Mudd of Georgia Southern, who went on to a long PGA Tour career, had a 64 in 1981 and Matt Peterson of Georgia had a 64 in 1988. It was a competitive course record for the Furman course since it reopened after a renovation three years ago. Bradshaw’s 64 tied the Clemson record for the lowest score in a final round. D.J. Trahan had a 64 in the final round of the Augusta State Invitational in 2003 and Jon Engler had a 64 in the final round of the jerry Pate Invitational in 2001.
Bradshaw finished the 54 holes with a 209 score, good enough for third place individually. William Sjaichudin of Purdue won the event with a 206 score, while Harold Varner of East Carolina was second at 207.
Reeves had a 68 in the final round, his best round of the year and tied for his best round as a Clemson golfer. He finished with a 214 score for the three days, tied for sixth place. Elmore had a career best tying 69 on Sunday and finished tied for 15th at even par 216. He had a streak of three straight birdies on the front nine to jumpstart his round and the Clemson team round.
Jacob Burger was a third Tiger under par on Sunday. The junior got off to a rough start and was two over par for the first two holes, then shot three under the rest of the way to finish at one under par 71. Burger had rounds of 72-71-71 and was the only Clemson golfer at even par or better for all three rounds. His 214 total tied for sixth individually.
Corbin Mills, who was Clemson’s top golfer in the first round with a 70, had a 74 on Sunday and was the non-counter for the day. Alex Boyd played as an individual and had a 216 score for the three rounds, tied for 15th in the individual race.