CLEMSON, S.C. - Miller Capps fired an even-par 72 on Sunday to lead Clemson to a fourth-place finish out of 15 teams at the Linger Longer Invitational at the Great Waters Course at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Ga.
The Tigers played with just four players in the final round. Stephen Behr, who had been Clemson's best player over the first two rounds, withdrew on Sunday to do a stomach virus that required an emergency room visit to a nearby hospital at 4:30 AM. Behr had scored 70-68 over the first two rounds and was in third place at 138 after 36 holes.
It was the first time Clemson had a player withdraw due to injury or illness since the spring of 2007 when Ben Martin had to withdraw due to a heart problem at the US Collegiate. It was the fifth time in Larry Penley's 31 years as head coach that a player had withdrawn.
Knowing their scores would count from the start, the four Tiger golfers in the lineup on Sunday all shot 76 or better, an accomplishment on a windy day where the average score for the 83 players was 77. Clemson was tied for sixth entering the final round, but improved to fourth with a final score of 870. Clemson's 10-over-par score of 298 on Sunday was the third best on the day. Only number-one ranked Alabama and fifth ranked Georgia were better.
Georgia won the event with an 837 score, while Alabama was second at 847. Fifteenth ranked Oklahoma was third at 867 and Clemson was fourth at 870. Clemson and Oklahoma were tied with three holes left, but the Tigers played those holes at three over par as a team.
Capps was Clemson's top golfer on Sunday with an even par 72. He had four birdies and four bogeys on the day and finished the tournament with a Clemson team best 15 birdies. His 220 score for the tournament was good enough for 28th place.
The top Tiger for the 54 holes was sophomore Blake Kennedy, who finished with an even par 216 score, good enough for 15th place. It was his second straight top 15 finish.
Kennedy started slowly on Sunday and was four-over-par through nine holes. But, he birdied 18, 1 and 2 consecutively to get back to one-over par. He made a bogey on the last hole to finish with a 74 on Sunday.
Austin Langdale, playing in the number-one position as a freshman this week, had rounds of 72-73-76 for the weekend. The winner of the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Classic in Clemson's previous event, Langdale had eight birdies for the weekend.
Cody Proveaux also shot a 76 on Sunday, a three-shot improvement from his second round on Saturday. He finished the tournament with a 12-over par score of 228, good enough for 55th individually.
Clemson will have two weeks off to prepare for the GRU Augusta Invitational, April 5-6.
Linger Longer Invitational
Great Waters Course, Reynolds Plantation
March 22-23, 2014
1. Georgia 837, 2. Alabama 847, 3. Oklahoma 867, 4. Clemson 870, 5. Mercer 874 and Liberty 874, 7. South Alabama 875, 8. Chattanooga 878, 9. Kennessaw State 879, 10. Yale 886, 11. North Florida 887, 12. Charlotte 890, 13. Michigan State, 14. Southern Mississippi 925, 15. Furman 945.