Clemson's No. 1 ranked men's golf team will compete in its final regular season tournament of the year when Larry Penley's Tigers travel to Stockbridge, Ga., next Thursday and Friday for the Atlanta Intercollegiate. It will be the first appearance for the Tigers in the fourth annual event that will feature 36 holes on Thursday, May 8 and 18 on Friday, May 9.
The 12 teams will include seven teams ranked in the top 30 in the nation. In addition to the number-one ranked Tigers, #4 Augusta State, #9 Florida (SEC champion in 2003), #12 Auburn, #13 Georgia, #21 College of Charleston and #27 Vanderbilt will also be in the field. Georgia State is the host school, while Louisville, Florida State, Mississippi State and UAB will also compete.
The tournament will be played at Eagle's Landing Country Club, a par 72 course that is 6899 yards in length. The course was the site of the 2003 LPGA Chick-Fil-A Charity Championship two weeks ago.
Clemson is coming off a victory at the 50th Atlantic Coast Conference Championships at the Old North State course at New London, NC April 18-20. The Tigers made up a nine-shot deficit with six holes to play to claim the victory. It was the fourth win of the year for Clemson, just one off the single season team record. Clemson has finished in the top three in every tournament this year and in 15 in a row over two seasons.
Clemson will take the same lineup to Atlanta that it used in winning the ACC Tournament. D.J. Trahan holds the number-one position on the Tiger team and the number-one position among collegiate players nationally entering this week's play. Trahan has a 70.55 stroke average of the season for 29 rounds, and 93 career rounds at par or better. He needs just three rounds at par or better to break John Engler's career record of 95.
Trahan was the only Tiger golfer in competition last weekend. He had rounds of 69 and 73 at the Nationwide tour event at the Cliff's Valley course in Greenville. His one-under par 142 score was one stroke off the cutline.
Jack Ferguson, who made an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole to give Clemson the ACC team title in April, will be Clemson's number-two man in the lineup. He carries a 71.28 stroke average for the season and has an active streak of 12 consecutive rounds at par or better. He is just three rounds off the Clemson record of 15 in a row, a mark also set by Engler.
Matt Hendrix is Clemson's third rated golfer according to stroke average with a 71.62 figure. He has four top 10 finishes this year and nine rounds in the 60s. His 68 on the final day of the ACC Tournament was the best round by a Tiger in the tournament. He and Ferguson have both been named to the United States team that will compete in the US vs. Japan matches this summer in Japan.
Gregg Jones and Ben Duncan round out Clemson's lineup in Atlanta. Jones has a 72.69 stroke average this season. He has been under par in three of his five tournaments this spring. Duncan has a 74.04 stroke average for the season. His birdie on the 18th hole at the ACC Tournament had a lot to do with Clemson's championship. Duncan will earn his degree from Clemson this week.