It was a tough week for Tiger golfers, past and present

The Clemson Sports Blog

Stephen Behr

Photo by Kerry Capps

Stephen Behr

Maybe when winter departs and summer hits in full-force next week, thing will get better for the Tigers - past and present - on the golf course.

All in all, it was a rough weekend for Tiger golf, starting in Sugar Grove, Illinois, just west of Chicago, where Clemson teed off in its first two rounds in rain and below-freezing wind chills, before things warmed up into mid-March-in-the-Midwest mode for the final round.

For the most part, the Tigers handled the conditions well, grinding their way into the top three and staying until the final stretch of holes on Saturday, when a small Clemson slip and late surges by California and Southern Cal left Larry Penley's team on the outside looking in at the NCAA nationals for the fourth straight year.

The Tigers failed to advance out of the Sugar Grove Regional by two spots, after finishing at +34. The Golden Bears and Trojans tied for fourth at +32.

The difference came on the par-five 17th hole at Rich Harvest Farms.

Clemson counted a triple-bogey eighth by freshman Austin Langdale on the 17th, as well as a birdie by Stephen Behr, for a net loss of two strokes.

Southern Cal played No. 17 in two-under, for a four-shot swing, while Cal counted four birdies for a six-shot swing, made up a four-strokes deficit on the Tigers, and tied the Trojans for fourth place.

It was a brutal way to end the season for the Tigers, who had shown signs of returning to traditional form, led by the freshman duo of former high school teammates Langdale and Carson Young, and supported by sophomores Behr, Miller Capps and Cody Proveaux.

While the NCAA regional wrapped up Clemson's 2013-14 collegiate season, individual Tigers will move on next month to a summer schedule of high-level amateur tournaments, honing their games for another shot a the NCAA finals next year.

Meanwhile, of the four former Tigers who played in the Tour's BMW Charity Classic this weekend, only one - Matt Hendrix - will be playing in the final round on Sunday at Thornblade Club in Greer.

Hendrix has a shot at a top-25 finish after posting rounds of 67-68-73 in his first three days at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, Green Valley CC and Thornblade.

He'll be shooting at some familiar names at the top of the leaderboard, including Duke's Jay Baum, Wake Forest's Kyle Reifers, Furman's Matt Davidson and Auburn's Blayne Barher.

Clemson's Corbin Mills (69-73-68) missed the cut for the final day by one stroke, while Sam Saunders (71-68-72) missed it by two. Crawford Reeves (73-70-72) was six shots below the cutline.

Just two Tigers were entered in the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Classic.

Kyle Stanley made the cut for the weekend, but ended up on the dreaded MDF (made, didn't finish) list for Sunday's final round after shooting +6 76 on Saturday.

Jonathan Byrd missed the cut after rounds of 71-76.

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