CLEMSON, SC - Sloan Shanahan and Ashlan Ramsey both had second-round scores of three-under-par 69 to the lead Clemson to the lead after two rounds of the Cougar Golf Classic at Yeamans Club in Charleston, SC. Clemson has a six shot lead over Mississippi State heading into Tuesday's final round on the par 72 course.
Clemson stands at 567 after two rounds, nine-under-par, while Mississippi State is second at 573. NC State and host school College of Charleston are tied for third at 574. Florida is fifth at 578, Wake Forest is sixth at 581, South Carolina is seventh at 583 and LSU is eighth at 586. Clemson and South Carolina were tied after the first round, but Clemson had a 17-stroke advantage on the Gamecocks in the second round.
Playing in its first tournament as a varsity program and starting an all freshman lineup, J.T. Horton's Tigers shot a six-under-par team score of 282 on Monday, the best round of the day for the 20 teams in the field . The 20-team field includes five schools that finished in the top 25 in the nation last year and 12 of the 20 played in the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Shanahan is tied for the lead after 36 holes with Aly McDonald of Mississippi State. She had her second straight round of 69 on Monday. Ramsey is tied for third, three shots back. Shanahan and Ramsey both had four birdies and a par on the front side on Monday. Ramsey had four birdies over the final four holes of the front nine, while Shanahan had three-over the same hole span.
Lauren Salazar, a red-shirt freshman from Santa Clara, CA, had a second round 72 after scoring a one-under 71 on Sunday. She is a third Tiger in the top 10 (ninth) after two rounds at 143. She had two bogeys and two birdies, the 16th an 18th holes, in scoring her even par round.
McKenzie Talbert had the most unusual round of the day. The freshman from North Augusta, SC had two bogeys and no birdies through the first 17 holes, then made the first eagle in Clemson women's golf history on the 18th hole. Her second shot was a seven-wood that finished eight feet from the hole. She then made the putt for the eagle three.
Jessica Hoang shot a 77 in the second round and her score did not count towards the team. She stands at six over par 150 for the two rounds.
"We got off to a good start and that was a key," said Horton. "Ashlan and Sloan both made four birdies on the front nine and held steady. Ashlan made birdies on 17 and 18 to finish strong. I was also impressed with the way Lauren and McKenzie were able to get an even par round.
"To close this out we have to continue to play within ourselves. We can't worry about what other teams are doing. We just have to focus on our game. That has been our gameplan, take it one hole at a time and don't worry about what other teams are doing."