Salem, S.C.—Austin Langdale birdied each of his last three holes to finish with an even par 72 and give Clemson a two-shot lead instead of a one-shot deficit after the first round of the Second Annual Clemson Invitational Men’s Golf Tournament at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls in Salem, S.C. The second round of the 13-team tournament will be played on Saturday. Admission is free.
Clemson holds a two-shot lead over Georgia Tech with a 298 score, while Alabama is in third place at 298, four shots back.
The 13 teams and 70 players faced difficult conditions with winds gusting to 25 MPH the entire day. The average score was 78.29, or 6.29 strokes over par. The weather is expected to improve on Saturday and Sunday for the final two rounds.
Clemson’s team score of 294 was six-over-par as a team. All five Clemson players in the Tigers lineup shot 77 or better, the only team in the field that could make that statement. Clemson played the eighth and ninth holes at a combined seven over par, but played the other 16 holes at one under.
Langdale was the top Tiger with his even par 72. The senior made his run on the final three holes, thanks to a two putt birdie from eight feet on the par five 16th hole, a 20-foot birdie putt on 17 and a three-foot birdie putt on 18. “The wind was blowing strong (against him) on 18,” said Langdale “I had 125 yards to the green and hit a full eight iron! But the ball finished just a few feet away and I made the putt.”
Carson Young, coming off a victory at the Furman Invitational, shot a solid one over par 73, the same score as freshman Doc Redman. Both are tied for sixth place after 18 holes. Bryson Nimmer had a four-over 76 and William Nottingham had a 77. Nottingham had a 41 on the front, but finished with an even-par 36 on the back.
Clemson had two other players participating as individuals. Peter Mathison had one of the top rounds of the day with an even par 72, while Josh Fickes had a 75. Mathison is tied for third in the individual race with Langdale.
Michael Hines of Georgia Tech played as an individual as well and had the highlight shot of the day when he scored a hole-in-one on par three 195-yard 17th hole. It was the first hole-on-one in the history of the tournament.
William Rainey of the College of Charleston had the round of the day with a three-under par 69. He had five birdies and an eagle on the par four 10th hole. Davis Riley of Alabama was the only other player in the field to score under par with a 71.