EL GRANDE, PR - Sophomore Miller Capps fired his second consecutive five-under par 67 to win co-medalist honors and lead Clemson to a fourth-place finish at the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club in El Grande, Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Clemson finished with a team score of 17-under par 847 for the three-day 54-hole event. Only top seven national teams from Alabama, Georgia Tech and Georgia finished ahead of the Tigers, who beat top 10 teams Virginia Tech and Oklahoma at the 15-team event.
Clemson's 17-under par team score was the best for the Tigers this year and best for the program since Clemson shot 26-under-par in winning the Furman Invitational in the spring of 2012.
Capps finished with a 12-under-par score of 204, the best 54-hole score by a Clemson golfer since Corbin Mills shot 201 at the Jerry Pate Intercollegiate in the fall of 2011. It was the best tournament by a Clemson golfer at a par 72 course since D.J Trahan shot a 201 at the Augusta State Invitational in April of 2003.
Capps had rounds of 70-67-67 for his 54 holes around the 6902-yard course. He became the first Clemson golfer with consecutive rounds of 67 in the same tournament since John Engler and Lucas Glover did it in the fall of 2000 at the Jerry Pate Invitational. Capps was the first to shoot five-under-par for consecutive rounds in the same tournament since Charles Warren did it in the middle two rounds of the 1998 NCAA Tournament at New Mexico.
Capps finished in a tie for medalist honors with Robby Shelton of the University of Alabama, who had a six-shot lead on Capps when the round began at 7:30 AM local time. It was a strong performance for Capps who gained co-medalist honors in a field that included five of the top 10 players in the nation according to the Sagarin College Golf Rankings.
Capps started his day strong with an eagle on his fourth hole of the day, the par five eighth hole. He was five-under-par for his first 12 holes and played even par the rest of the round.
"It was a great tournament and I was fortunate enough to make a lot of putts," said Capps. "I made a lot of 10- to 15-footers for birdie, more than I normally make. I'm really happy with the way we played as a team, and we are all looking forward to the next tournament.
"I got my round off to a good start today with an eagle on my fourth hole. I hit a three-wood with my second shot to within 12 feet and made the putt."
Capps had support on Tuesday from freshman Carson Young and sophomore Stephen Behr. Both had rounds of one-under par 71, helping the Tigers to a 284 team score, Clemson's third consecutive under par team round.
Behr finished with a 214 score for the three rounds, good enough for 27th place. Cody Proveaux was Clemson's second best golfer for the event with a three under par score of 213 after rounds of 70-68-75. It was the second straight top 25 finish for Proveaux in Puerto Rico as he was 24th last year with a 216 score. Austin Langdale had a 75 on Tuesday and finished 47th with a 220 score.
Clemson will next see action March 10-11 at the USC-Aiken Invitational in Aiken, SC.
Puerto Rico Classic
Feb. 23-25 at Rio Mar Country Club River Couse (El Grande, Puerto Rico)
1. Alabama 819
2. Georgia Tech 823
3. Georgia 835
4. Clemson 847
5. Virginia Tech 855
T-6. Oklahoma 859
T-6. Purdue 859
T-6. Michigan 859
T-9. Missouri 868
T-9. SMU 868
T-9. East Tennessee State 868
T-9. UNC Greensboro 868
13. Northwestern 875
14. North Carolina 890
15. NC State 897
T-1. Miller Capps (Clemson) 204
T-1. Robby Shelton (Alabama) 204
T-3. Bo Andrews (Georgia Tech) 205
T-3. Joey Garber (Georgia) 205
T-3. Adam Schenk (Purdue) 205