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Men’s golf spring season outlook

Heading into the spring season, the Clemson men’s golf team will be ranked No.16 in the nation and one of the favorites to compete for an ACC title. After a mediocre fall, Clemson golf turned their game around in a big way this past week during the Puerto Rico Classic at the Rio Mar Country Club. In a strong field that contained five ranked teams, Clemson staged a comeback victory to win the opening tournament. 

After trailing by eight shots heading into the final round, the Tigers posted an even par score of 284 to sneak into first place. The Tigers were able to win the tournament by playing consistent golf throughout, posting scores of E [even], +2 and E over the three days. The field was well contested and consisted of the top four teams being separated by only five strokes. 

The event did not go well for the Alabama Crimson Tide who finished in fifth place at +14 after entering the tournament as the No. 1 team in the nation. Clemson was also able to edge out defending national champions Oklahoma who entered the 2018 season ranked No. 8 in the nation. The Sooners lead after round one of the tournament after turning in an astonishing score of -10. Unfortunately for the Sooners, they were unable to follow up their impressive round one performance after they shot a +12, 296 in round two. With the win, the Tigers secured their second straight victory in the Puerto Rico classic. 

The Tigers will be lead by sophomore Doc Redman this season, who in his short time at Clemson has already become one of the school’s most accomplished golfers. In 2017, Redman was named the US Amateur Champion and was selected for the Walker Cup team. With his US Amateur Championship, Redman will have a chance to play in the 2018 US Open, the 2018 British Open and the 2018 Masters as well as the next 10 US Amateurs. 

Last season, Redman posted the second lowest  average score in Clemson history with 70.77 strokes per round. Redman will certainly be looking to improve upon this average in his second season and continue to secure his spot amongst the greatest Clemson golfers of all time. 

Redman will play alongside junior Bryson Nimmer who has been named as a first team All-ACC player in each of his first two seasons with the team. Nimmer is ranked sixth in Clemson history in total stroke average with an impressive 72.17 figure. While Nimmer has been an excellent player for Clemson thus far, many expect him to take on an even bigger role this year. Last season, he improved his stroke average by more than two shots, and if that trend continues, Nimmer could help give Clemson one of the best one-two punches in the nation at the top of their lineup.  

After the graduation of key players Carson Young and Austin Langdale, Clemson will be looking to some of their younger players to step into their lineup this season. The Tigers have three incoming freshmen in Kyle Cottam, Colby Patto and Turk Pettit, all of whom will have a chance to compete for a starting job. All three freshmen played in the Puerto Rico classic this past week ahead of returning players Josh Fickes and William Nottingham who will also look to find some starting time this season. Pettit and Cottam were especially impressive as they finished five under par and even  respectively. 

The  Tigers will be back in action on March 11 when they play in the Bandon Dunes Championship in Bandon, OR. Before skipping the tournament last season, the Tigers won the 2016 Bandon Dunes championship by 17 strokes. Clemson will look to continue to build momentum ahead of their only home tournament of the season, the Clemson Invitational, which begins on April 13. 




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