TEMPE, AZ - Clemson sophomore Billy Kennerly recorded a one-under-par 69, his fourth consecutive round in the 60s over two tournaments, but his teammates were a combined 15-over-par in the second round and the team dropped eight spots in the standings. The Tigers are in 12th place after 36 holes and find themselves 16 shots off the cutline entering Saturday's final round.
The top five teams will advance to the NCAA National Tournament at the Capital City Club in Alpharetta, GA at the end of the month. Host school Arizona State is the fifth place team at two under par 558 in Tempe. Clemson is at 574.
Clemson was tied for fourth with four other teams after the first round after an even par team score of 280. But, the Tigers shot 294 on Friday.
Clemson scored seven over par on the back nine, the team's first nine of the day, just as it had done on Thursday. The team looked like it was making a comeback on the front nine, just as it had done the previous day. Clemson was at four over par as a team four holes into the front nine and stood just six shots off the cutline. But, Clemson played the last six holes 10 over par and fell in the standings.
For the second straight day, the par three 16th hole ruined Clemson's round. The Tigers were seven over as a team on Thursday and five over as a team on Friday on the 215 yard hole that has a lot of carry over water. That is 12 over par for the two days. Clemson obviously has played the other 17 holes at just two over.
Kennerly was the bright spot on Friday with five birdies and four bogeys. He made birdie on the first, second, ninth, 11th and 17th holes. The native of Alpharetta, who is hoping to play in the National tournament that will be near his home, scored in the 60s for his final two rounds of the ACC Tournament in April, and now has two in a row in the NCAAs.
Another round in the 60s will break a Clemson record for consecutive rounds in the 60s. Many Clemson players have done it, the last being Corbin Mills, who turned the trick last year. Kennerly has had a remarkable improvement in the postseason. He had just one round in the 60s during the regular season, and now has four in a row in postseason play. He stands in the top 10 individually entering the final round.
Clemson's second best golfer on Friday was freshman Cody Proveaux, who had a three over par 73. He was three over on the back nine, his first nine of the day. For the second straight day he had a double bogey on the par three 16th hole. But, he rebounded and played the front nine in even par. He stands at 144 after two rounds, second best among Clemson golfers.
Miller Capps, Clemson's non-counter in the first round with a 76, fired a 75 on Friday and stands at 151 after 36 holes. Stephen Behr, Clemson's top golfer for the year in terms of stroke average, had a 68 in the first round, but did not have a birdie in the second round in scoring a 77. He is at 145 for two rounds. Senior Crawford Reeves had a difficult finish, a triple bogey on the ninth hole, his last hole of the day, and finished with a 77. He stands at 150 after two rounds.
The final round of the tournament will be held Saturday at the Karsten Golf Course on the Arizona State campus. Scoring can be followed on golfstat.com.