By Staff Report.
Clemson, SC—Crawford Reeves fired a four-under-par 68 to lead Clemson to a 295 team score and an eighth place standing after 36 holes of the South Central NCAA Regional Golf Tournament at the Olde Stone Golf Club in Bowling Green, KY. Clemson has a 590 score for 36 holes, in eighth-place overall and seven shots off the fifth-place cutline. The top five teams after Saturday’s third round advance to the NCAA National Tournament in Los Angeles May 29-June 3.
UCLA has the team lead at 571, five-under-par. Texas A&M, who played with Clemson on Friday, is in second place with a 573 score. Texas A&M had a 278 team score on Friday, the best in the 14-team field. Chattanooga is in third place at one under par after a seven-under-par team score on Friday.
Memphis stands in fourth place at six-over-par 582. Virginia Tech is the cutline team at 583, seven-over-par. Northwestern and Colorado State are ahead of Clemson at 11-over-par 587. The Tigers are three shots back of Northwestern and Colorado State for eighth place. Iowa State is three shots behind Clemson for ninth place.
Clemson was in a tie for fourth place with a 295 score after Thursday’s first round. Clemson shot the same score on Friday, and in fact shot the same score on each side, two over on the front nine and five over on the back nine. But most of the teams improved on their team score on Friday. In fact 10 of the 14 teams improved on their first-round team score.
“The bottom three players of our lineup will have to play much better if we are going to make the cut,” said Head Coach Larry Penley. “Crawford was outstanding with a 68 and Corbin had a solid day. But we can’t count two rounds of 78 and expect to play in the national tournament.
“What was especially disappointing was the way we finished. We could have saved four or five shots over the last three holes. But we were careless.”
Clemson has made some comebacks in recent years, including the 2009 US Collegiate when the Tigers were 13 down to Stanford entering the last round before winning by two shots. “It might not take a US Collegiate comeback, but we will have to play very well….something like six under par, to make the top five.”
Reeves had six birdies and two bogeys in firing his four-under par 68, the best round vs. par by a Clemson golfer in an NCAA Regional since May 16, 2008 when Phillip Mollica had a second round 68 on the par 72 Gold Mountain Country Club Course in Bremerton, WA.
Reeves is now three-under-par for the two rounds and stands in a tie for fifth place individually. He is three shots out of the lead held by Pedro Figueiredo of UCLA and Stephen Yaeger of Chattanooga who are both at seven under par 137. Reeves is trying to become the first Clemson golfer to win an NCAA regional championship since D.J. Trahan in 2002.
“The difference for me today was hitting fairways,” said Reeves, who had his 10th under-par round of the year, all in the spring part of the season. “I made a 12-footer for par on the first hole and that gave me some confidence. I missed a couple of birdie putts early in the round, but I knew I was hitting it well.”
Reeves made birdies on five of seven holes at one stretch. His final birdie of the day came on the 15th hole when he made a 25-footer from just off the green.
Reeves feels his team has the capabilities to overcome its deficit on Saturday and qualify for the NCAA national tournament. “We just need to play like we know we can play. We are all capable of scoring well on this course. We just need to put it together tomorrow.”
Corbin Mills scored an even par 72 on Friday, an improvement of two shots over his first round. He had three birdies, including one on the par four 320-yard 14th hole. He drove the hole and two putted from 16 feet for the birdie. He also had a two-putt birdie on the par five 18th hole.
Thomas Bradshaw was Clemson’s third best golfer on Friday with a five-over-par 78. Bradshaw was even through five holes, when played the next three holes at four-over par. He had a double bogey on the par three eighth hole, his first double bogey of the event. He had birdies on the 14th and 15th holes to get back to three over, but made a double on the 17thhole and finished with a 77.
Billy Kennerly got off to a rough start with a double bogey on the par five second hold and was four-over-par through three holes. But, he came back with a birdie on the fifth hole to go to three over. He was still three over after a birdie on the 11th hole. But, he made bogeys on the 12th, 17th and 18th holes to finish with a 78.
Likewise, McCuen Elmore was just two-over par three 14 holes, then failed to make a par the rest of the way, including a double bogey on the 15th hole.
Clemson will be back in action for the final round on Saturday. Hole by hole results will be posted on golfstat.com.