By Staff Report.
Clemson, SC—Clemson will open its 2011-12 golf season on Friday, September 9 at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA. The 12-team field includes six SEC teams and three ACC teams.
The 12 teams will play 18 holes a day from September 9-11 at the par 72 golf course known as The Farm. Clemson finished third at the event last year with a two-under par team score.
This will be Clemson’s 22nd appearance at The Carpet Classic. Clemson has won the tournament four times (1992, 1995, 1997 and 2002) and has 11 top three finishes.
Six of the 12 teams are ranked in the top 20, including third-ranked Alabama, fourth-ranked Georgia Tech, ninth-ranked Auburn, 15th ranked Georgia and 17th ranked LSU. Clemson enters the season 16th in the preseason Golf World Coaches poll.
Clemson will be led by junior Corbin Mills, who is coming off an outstanding summer in which he won the United States Public Links Championship and the Players Amateur. Those wins should get him into the Masters and the Heritage on the PGA Tour next spring. Mills, who is ranked sixth in the US Amateur golf rankings this week, had a 73.0 average last year, best on the team.
Jacob Burger is a senior who had a 73.23 stroke average last year. He had the best round of his junior season at The Farm last year when he shot a second round 65. Known for his consistency, Burger enters his senior year having counted in 90.1 percent of his rounds for the Clemson team, sixth best in school history.
Classmate McCuen Elmore will also be in the lineup this weekend. The only Tiger to play in all 11 tournaments last year, Elmore had a 74.06 stroke average last year when he led the team in total birdies with 101.
Thomas Bradshaw will also be in the opening day lineup. The sophomore had the low round of the year by a Clemson golfer when he fired a 64 at the Furman Invitational in March, leading the Tigers to the team victory. He had a 74.07 stroke average a year ago.
Billy Kennerly rounds out the Clemson lineup. The freshman had a strong summer on the junior circuit. He won a junior event in Greensboro that qualified him for the Wyndham Championship on the PGA Tour. He had rounds of 71-70 in that event to close his summer. He was ranked sixth in the nation among juniors before he entered Clemson in late August.
Crawford Reeves, a starter the last two years, will miss the first event due to a back injury.