Clemson golfer wins individual national championship

Clemson golfer wins individual national championship

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Clemson golfer wins individual national championship

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Clemson golfer Turk Pettit won the 2021 NCAA men’s national championship with a four-round seven-under-par at the NCAA National Tournament at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Pettit shot a 70 in his final round Monday to earn Clemson’s first national championship since Charles Warren won it all in 1997. Before Sunday, Warren was the only Clemson golfer in history to win the tournament. He also finished second in 1998, his senior year, when he won the Dave Williams Award as the outstanding senior golfer in the nation.

Monday was Pettit’s first individual win since April 8, 2018 at the Irish Creek Invitational.

“I think the back-nine played easier, for me at least,” Pettit said afterwards. “I got off to a good start, and after that it was just kind of put it on cruise control. I thought the golf course got a lot harder as the day went on, so the front nine to me, I thought, played a lot tougher.”

Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin finished second in the tournament. Jin had an opportunity to force a playoff, but he missed the a difficult par shot on the final hole.

“I did not know I was in the lead at all. I did not look at one leaderboard all day,” Pettit said. “I did not find out until the last green. I was just wanting to play my best and see what happened.

“I felt I needed one more birdie coming down the stretch because I heard Coach say lets get a birdie, but I did not need that birdie, luckily.”

As a team, Clemson failed to make match play and finished 13th with a +36. The Tigers had a plus-20 in the final round. Only the top 8 teams advanced to match play.

Regardless, Pettit was able to send head coach Larry Penley out with his second individual national champion. Penley announced earlier this year he was retiring after 38 years as Clemson’s head coach.

“Today is a great memory that I can take with me,” Penley said.

Jordan Byrd has been named as the Tigers’ new head coach.

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