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Clemson golfer wins NCAA individual championship

On the final day of Larry Penley's head coaching career, Turk Pettit became the second Clemson golfer to win the NCAA individual championship.
Credit: Clemson Athletics

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson, S.C—Turk Pettit got up-and-down for par from 25 yards off the ninth green, his final hole of the day, then Oklahoma State golfer Bo Jin failed to make par on the 18th hole, his final hole just 15 minutes, giving Pettit the individual NCAA Championship on Monday at Grayhawk Golf Course in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pettit is the second Clemson player in history to win the NCAA Championship and joins A.C. Flora graduate Charles Warren, who won the title in 1997 at Conway Farms in Chicago, Ill. Pettit finished with rounds of 68-67-68-70 for a 72-hole score of seven-under-par 273. It is the second lowest NCAA Tournament score in Clemson history, trailing only a 272 by Warren when he finished second at the 1998 NCAA Tournament in Albuquerque, NM.

It was just the second win of Pettit’s Clemson career and his first since winning the Irish Creek Invitational in Kannapolis, NC on April 8, 2018, his freshman year. The Clemson graduate finished his final season with seven top 10 finishes in his eight tournaments.

Pettit was by far Clemson’s best player of the four rounds, as the Tigers finished in a tie for 13th place with a score of 1156. No other Tiger finished in the top 60. Arizona State had the low score in the 72-hole stroke play qualifier at 1117. Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, Oklahoma, Illinois, Florida State, Vanderbilt and North Carolina advance to the eight-team match play tournament that will determine the national champion. The Tigers missed the cut for the eighth and final spot by 11 shots.

Monday was Larry Penley’s final day as Clemson head coach. He announced in January that this would be his last year. Jordan Byrd, his assistant the last 17 years will take over the program as head coach. Byrd is a Spring Valley graduate and the brother of PGA Tour player Jonathan Byrd.

Penley completes his career with a national championship in 2003, 10 ACC championships, seven NCAA Regional titles, nine ACC Coach of the Year honors, and an ACC record 83 tournament wins. He led the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament all 37 years there was a tournament in his 38 seasons at the helm, including 30 trips to the National Tournament. He finishes with 13 Top Ten seasons (second in school history for any coach) and 25 Top 20 seasons, more than any coach in any sport in school history.

2021 NCAA Men’s Golf Tournament

May 28-31, 2021

Grayhawk Golf Course, Scottsdale, Arizona

Team Results

1. Arizona State 1117, 2. Oklahoma State 1120, 3. Pepperdine 1125, 4. Oklahoma 1130, 5. Illinois, 6. Florida State 1136, 7. Vanderbilt, 8. North Carolina 1145, 9. Louisville and Sam Houston 1152, 11. Arkansas and Texas Tech 1153, 13. Clemson and Wake Forest 1156, 15. Georgia Tech 1169.

Clemson Individuals

1. Turk Pettit, 68-67-68-70/273; 61. Kyle Cottam 74-73-72-75/294; 65. Jacob Bridgeman 71-71-75-79/296; 65. Colby Patton 74-73-70-79/296;