Clemson Claims East Regional
New Haven, CT - Gregg Jones fired a 4-under-par 66 and junior Brent Delahoussaye finished fourth individually for the 54-hole tournament, leading Clemson to the championship of the NCAA East Regional at the Yale University Course in New Haven, Conn.
It was the third consecutive NCAA East Regional Championship for Larry Penley and the Tiger golf team and his seventh overall, an NCAA record. Clemson will now move on to the NCAA National Championship tournament at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Va., June 1-4.
For Penley it completed a 'double-triple' in terms of NCAA East Regional championships. It marked the second time he has taken Clemson to the regional championship three consecutive years.
He led the Tigers to the East Regional championship in 1993-94-95, and now in 2002-03-04. Ironically, the last time he completed a three-peat, it was accomplished at the Yale University Course. That 1995 team led by Richard Coughlan and Charles Warren had a winning team score of 857. This year's team completed the three-peat with an 856 score.
Overall, Penley has now won seven NCAA East Regional championships, as he also won in 2000 to go with the aforementioned titles. Clemson won the ACC Championship earlier this year, so this is the second consecutive year Clemson has won the ACC and Regional titles. He now has 56 tournament victories in his 21 years at Clemson. Last year Clemson became the first school in NCAA history to win its conference, regional and national championships in the same year.
Jones had nine-hole scores of 33-33 on the par 70 course, tying his career best round. The round included four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys. He entered the day 51st individually, but his 66 on Saturday moved him to 14th in the final standings. Jones, who graduated from Clemson on May 7, is now the first Clemson golfer in history to finish in the top 15 in four different NCAA East Regional tournaments. He was second last year when he also shot a 66 in the final round. He was 10th as a freshman and 13th as a sophomore.
At last year's NCAA Tournaments, Penley followed Jones for the entire tournament and the results were successful for Jones and the team. He had not followed Jones this year, but that changed on Saturday. 'We talked about it on Friday night after dinner,' said Penley. 'I thought it was time to get our postseason going. I asked him if he wanted me to stay with him and he said yes with a big smile. For some reason he always plays better when I am with him. The other players were doing fine so I stayed with him the entire round.'
Jones felt the reason for his outstanding round was his driving accuracy and his practice. 'I drove it poorly the first two rounds and you can't do that on this course,' said Jones. 'I had been putting pretty well this week and I continued that today, but the big difference was hitting the fairways. I also had a good practice yesterday after the round and that confidence carried over to today's round. I didn't practice well before the first two rounds.
'The eagle on the 16th hole (his seventh of the day) was big. It was a 50-foot putt that I was just trying to get close for an easy birdie, but it went in. I haven't had a lot of those this spring.'
While Jones was the leader on Saturday, Delahoussaye was Clemson's top player of the tournament. The transfer from South Carolina had a one-under-par 69 on Saturday to finish with a 54-hole score of 211, one-over-par. He was just four shots off the pace of individual champion Bill Haas of Wake Forest. Delahoussaye had four birdies and three bogeys on the day to finish three strokes better than any of his Clemson teammates for the tournament. The fourth-place individual finish was his career best as a collegian. It was his second top 20 at NCAA Regional play, as he had finished 19th while playing for South Carolina at the 2001 West Regional.
'Brent Delahoussaye is the reason we won this tournament,' said Penley. 'He didn't even know he was playing until the day before we left. He was fantastic. He struggled the last couple of holes yesterday, but he didn't let it carry over to today. He was consistently in the fairway on his drives and that was a key to his game.' Delahoussaye was inserted into the lineup on Monday after Brian Duncan suffered an injured thumb last week.
Matt Hendrix showed steady improvement throughout the tournament as his scores improved from 74 to 72 to a final round 70. He had two birdies and two bogeys on his card on Saturday. At one stretch he made 14 consecutive pars. Hendrix finished 23rd overall. Sophomore Stephen Poole double bogeyed the ninth hole, his final hole of the day, but still shot a 72 and finished 30th overall. Jack Ferguson shot his third straight 74, an accomplishment considering he had two double bogeys within his first three holes.
'This was a big win for us because we showed we could come back,' said Penley. 'We were in fourth place four shots out entering today's final round, but turned it on when we had to. It was a perfect day for scoring and we were able to take it low compared to the other teams.' Clemson's 277 team score on Saturday was the only under-par team round of the tournament.
'This was a good course for us to prepare for the national championships because it is very similar to the Homestead. It think it will help all the teams that advance from the East when we get to The Homestead on June 1. You have to be crafty to be successful at the Yale Course. You have to manage your game and that is the same approach at The Homestead.'
Vegas helicopters in to Carnoustie, without clubs
Jhonattan Vegas did some range work, putted a little and strolled to the first tee for his 5:31 a.m. ET start in the 147th Open Championship.
Everything before that, however, was far from routine.
That face when you realized you visa to the UK is expired the same day you were supposed to travel. La cara cuando te das cuenta que tu visa al Reino Unido está vencida el mismo días que viajas.pic.twitter.com/lztAcLUNN0— Jhonattan Vegas (@JhonattanVegas) July 12, 2018
Vegas' visa to travel to Scotland expired and the process to renew it got delayed - and it looked like his overseas' flight might suffer the same fate. Vegas, upon getting his visa updated, traveled from Houston, Texas to Toronto, Canada to Glasgow, Scotland, and then took a helicopter to Carnoustie.
He arrived in time on Thursday morning, but his clubs did not. Mizuno put together some irons for him and was able to cobble together his preferred metal woods. He hit the clubs for the first time on the range, less than 90 minutes before his start.
"I'm going to go out there and play with freedom," Vegas told Golf Channel's Todd Lewis.
How to watch The Open on TV and online
You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.
Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie
In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.
Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:
(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)
Monday, July 16
GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)
GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Tuesday, July 17
GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Wednesday, July 18
GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Thursday, July 19
GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)
GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Friday, July 20
GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Saturday, July 21
GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Sunday, July 22
GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)
GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)
GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)
Tiger Tracker: 147th Open Championship
Tiger Woods is competing in his first Open Championship since 2015. We're tracking him this week at Carnoustie.
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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major
Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:
What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.
What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.
How old is it?
It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.
Where is it played?
There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.
Where will it be played this year?
At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.
Who has won The Open on that course?
Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).
Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?
Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.
Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?
This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.
Who has won this event the most?
Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.
What about the Morrises?
Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.
Have players from any particular country dominated?
In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.
Who is this year's defending champion?
That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.
What is the trophy called?
The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).
Which Opens have been the most memorable?
Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.
When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?
Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.