New London, NC—Doc Redman and Turk Pettit each had rounds of three under par 69 on Saturday to lead Clemson to a 280 team score and a tie for second after two rounds of the Atlantic Coach Conference Men’s Golf Championship at The Old North State Club in New London, NC. The 12 teams will play the final round on the par 72 course on Sunday.
Clemson trails fifth-ranked Georgia Tech by six shots entering the final 18 holes. The Yellow Jackets are at 553, 23-under-par after 36 holes, while Clemson is tied with an upstart Notre Dame team at 559. Notre Dame was not ranked in the top 50 entering the tournament, but has shot 16-under-par over the first two rounds to tie the Tigers.
Clemson and Notre Dame have a three shot lead over Duke and Virginia, who stand in a tie for fourth at 562. Duke had the top team round of the day with a 276. North Carolina is sixth at 563 and Wake Forest is seventh at 564.
The Tigers are behind by six shots entering the final round, but Larry Penley’s team has been comebacks this year. Clemson trailed by eight shots entering the final round at the Puerto Rico Classic earlier this year, but won the tournament by a shot.
“We can’t play like this if we are going to come back and win tomorrow,” said Head Coach Larry Penley, who has guided the Clemson program to nine ACC Tournament victories. “Everyone has been in the game and that is good to see.
“But, we are going to have to play a little bit better, make a few more putts by each player tomorrow. We are going to need a 14 or 15 under par round. We are capable of doing it, but we have to improve from what I have seen so far this weekend.”
Clemson last shot 15 under par (273) at the Old North State Club in the opening round in 2016, the last time Clemson won the ACC Championship.
Four Clemson players shot under par and the Tigers had a team score of 280, eight under par. Combined with an opening round 279, this is the first time Clemson has shot 280 or better in each of the first two rounds of the ACC Tournament since 2002.
Redman had another strong round with a three-under-par 69 thanks to four birdies and just one bogey. His 69 could have been a 65 as he missed four birdie putts from 10 feet or less. The 2017 US Amateur champion stands in third place with a 136 total.
Pettit also had a 69 on Saturday thanks to five birdies and just two bogeys. The freshman made a four-shot improvement over the first round and his 142 total stands in 24th place after 36 holes.
Bryson Nimmer and Kyle Cottam both had rounds of one-under-par 71 on Saturday. Nimmer had a 69 in the first round and his 140 total through two rounds is 16th. Nimmer made four putts of 15 feet or more, including a 35-footer for birdie on the par three seventh hole. But his round did not end well as he made a bogey on the par five 18th. Cottam has played solid for 36 holes with consecutive rounds of 70 and 71 and he stands in 22nd place after two rounds.
Freshman Colby Patton has been steady with rounds of 74 and 73 so far. His 147 score is 42nd in the field of 60 golfers.
Clemson will be in the final group with Georgia Tech and Notre Dame. The Tigers begin play at 10 a.m. off No. 1 on Sunday.
Team Scores ACC Tournament
Old North State Club
April 20-22, 2018
1. Georgia Tech 553, 2. Clemson and Notre Dame 559, 4. Duke and Virginia 562, 6. North Carolina 563, 7. Wake Forest 564, 8. NC State and Florida State 566, 10. Virginia Tech and Boston College 578, 12. Louisville 580
3. Doc Redman 67-69/136; 16. Bryson Nimmer 69-71/140; 22. Kyle Cottam 70-71/141; 24. Turk Pettit 73-69/142; 42. Colby Patton 74-73/147.
New London, NC—Doc Redman had a 66 and Bryson Nimmer added a 67 to lead Clemson to a 10-under-par 277 team score on Sunday and a second-place finish out of 12 teams at the 2018 ACC Men’s Golf Championship at The Old North State Club in New London, NC. Clemson finished second by two shots to Georgia Tech and Redman finished second by two shots in the individual race to Thomas Walsh of Virginia. It took an ACC record 16-under-par score of 200 by Walsh to beat the Clemson All-American who won the 2017 United States Amateur.
Clemson entered the final round six shots behind the Yellow Jackets, who entered the tournament ranked fifth in the nation. But, Clemson got off to a quick start and played the front nine in 11-under-par. Redman shot six under par 30 on the front nine, just one shot short of the Clemson nine-hole record.
The Tigers actually had a four-shot lead after Redman made a birdie on the par four sixth hole. The sophomore from Raleigh hit his approach to one foot and made the putt to go to six-under-par through six holes. That putt made the Tigers 29 under par for the tournament.
But, Clemson’s fast pace slowed down. The Tigers played the next four holes at two over par and the margin with Georgia Tech never got above a three-shot lead either way the rest of the round.
Clemson cut the margin to one shot, 28 under par to 27 under par after Nimmer made a birdie on the final hole to finish with a five-under-par 67. Redman needed to beat his Georgia Tech competitor, Chris Petefish by a shot with a birdie on the last hole. After a drive to the right to the top of a hill, he hit his second shot to within 15 yards of the green on the par five, but Petefish hit his second shot to the green just 25 feet from the pin. Redman could not get up and down and Petefish two-putted for birdie to give Tech the two-shot victory.
Redman’s 66 on Sunday was his low round of the year for the Tigers. He finished with rounds of 67-69-66 for his 202 total. His 54-hole score broke John Engler’s Clemson record for total strokes at an ACC Tournament. Engler had a 203 when he won the 2001 ACC Tournament. Redman also became the first Clemson golfer with three rounds in the 60s at the same ACC Tournament since 1998 when Charles Warren did it when he won the tournament at the same Old North State Club.
Nimmer’s round of 67 was his best of the tournament and his best since he had a 66 at Bandon Dunes earlier this spring. He was near flawless on Sunday with five birdies and no bogeys. It was his best final round performance since shooting a 67 at Trinity Forest back in the fall.
While Redman finished second individually at 14-under-par 202, Nimmer finished tied for eighth with a 207 score, nine-under par. It is the sixth straight top 10 finish for a member of the Nimmer family at the ACC Tournament. Bryson finished fourth and second the last two years, respectively, while his dad, Tony Nimmer, finished sixth each of his final three years for the Tigers (1982-83-84).
Colby Patton, whose father Chris Patton finished third at the ACC Tournament in 1990, was Clemson’s third best golfer of the final round with an even-par 72, while classmate Kyle Cottam had a 73 and Turk Pettit a 74. But, none of the three freshmen finished in the top 25 for the 54 holes.
Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley was disappointed his Tigers came two shots short of victory, but he was proud of their comeback on Sunday. “I was proud of the way we came back,” said Penley. “We got off to such a fast start, and we had caught them about an hour into the round.”
The Tournament went about as Penley expected. “I told some people on Thursday that it would be a shootout and it would take 30-under to win. That is what it would have taken (Georgia Tech finished 29 under). There are a lot of talented teams in this league and the weather conditions were perfect for scoring.
“Our veteran players really showed up today. I was proud of Doc and Bryson. There can be a tendency to let down after you play in the Masters, but Doc is a special person. He showed that in this tournament.
“It was a learning experience for our freshmen. They will be back next year and will benefit by having played this tournament. This was also a good experience for our team going forward to the NCAAs. They played in a high pressure tournament.
“Our problem was we just didn’t score well enough on the par fives. In particular the par five 11th hole. I think we were over par there for the week. You can’t do that in this tournament on this golf course.”
For the week Clemson played the par four holes at nine-under-par, six shots better than any other team. But Clemson was next to last in scoring on the par five holes.
The Tigers will break for final exams in a week, then play in the NCAA Regional Tournament May 14-16 at a site to be named.
Clemson and Georgia Tech have been in the same tournament five times this year and the Yellow Jackets hold a 3-2 edge, but the stroke differential is just four total shots in Tech’s favor. Both teams should be high seeds when the NCAA Regional assignments are announced in two weeks.
2018 ACC Men’s Golf Tournament
The Old North State Club
New London, NC
April 20-22, 2018
1. Georgia Tech 835, 2. Clemson 837, 3. Wake Forest 838, 4. Virginia 840, 5. Duke 844, 6. North Carolina and Notre Dame 845, 8. NC State 846, 9. Florida State 848, 10. Boston College 856, 11. Louisville 862, 12. Virginia Tech 879.
2. Doc Redman 67-69-66/ 202; 8. Bryson Nimmer 69-71-67/207; 28. Kyle Cottam 70-71-73/ 214; 30. Turk Pettit 73-69-74/ 216; 38. Colby Patton 74-73-72/ 219