Clemson and USC will open the 2010-11 golf season on Friday at the Carpet Classic in Dalton, GA.
The Carpet Classic is a 12-team tournament at The Farm, a par 72 course in Dalton, GA. The field includes seven top 25 teams. In addition to 17th ranked Clemson, the field includes Georgia (#4), Georgia Tech (#10), Alabama (#15), Auburn (#18), Texas Tech (#21), and South Carolina (#24).
Clemson Head Coach Larry Penley will begin his 28th season as Tigers head Coach. He has taken the Tigers to the NCAA Tournament all 27 of his previous seasons. The Tigers do not have a single senior on the roster, just the second time that has been the case in Penley’s career, but he will bring a lineup of four juniors to The Farm for the first tournament of the year.
The South Carolina starting lineup for this week’s event features two true freshmen, two sophomores and a junior, only two of which have significant collegiate experience. Junior Wesley Bryan (Chapin, S.C.) leads the way for Carolina, along with sophomore Clint Tolleson (Spartanburg, S.C.); Bryan has played in every event in his two years as a Gamecock, and Tolleson played all 10 events in 2009-10 as a redshirt freshman. Sophomore Dean Hester (Dublin, Ga.) will be making his third varsity appearance for the Gamecocks, but his first as part of the starting five as he played in two events as an individual in 2009-10. A pair of true freshmen will get their first taste of college golf this week as Logan Harrell (Huntersville, N.C.) and Blaine Woodruff (Acworth, Ga.) round out the starting five.
Bryan has played in two previous Carpet Capital Collegiate events, tying for 29th in 2009 (72-77-72=221) and taking 30th place in 2008 (72-76-72=220). Tolleson competed in his first collegiate event here last year, posting rounds of 77-77-75=229 to tie for 47th place.
David Dannelly, a transfer from Coastal Carolina, will play the number-one spot for the Clemson this weekend. Dannelly sat out last year, but had a strong summer as he reached the Match Play of the US Amateur by finishing 13th in the qualifying tournament. He is a veteran of 16 career tournaments and had four top 10s at Coastal Carolina, including a victory at the 2008 Big South Tournament.
Jacob Burger, a starter on Clemson’s 16th ranked team of 2010, will play the number-two position this weekend. Burger had a 72.88 average last year, third best on the team. Burger shot a 222 at the Carpet Classic last year, including a 69 in the final round that was Clemson’s top round of the tournament.
Crawford Reeves, the only sophomore in the lineup, will play the number-three position this weekend. Reeves was a starter as a freshman who had a 74.94 stroke average for the year, but had a 73.6 average for his last six tournaments of the year.
McCuen Elmore will be in the lineup for just the fourth tournament of his career. Elmore won the team qualifier for this tournament. Last year he finished sixth at the USC Aiken Cleveland Classic, best performance among Tigers at that tournament.
Alex Boyd will play the number-five position for Clemson at The Farm. It will be his second straight appearance at this tournament. He finished 33rd with a 222 score last year, tied for second best among Tigers at the tournament. Boyd qualified for this tournament when he beat returning starter Corbin Mills by one shot in a playoff at Chanticleer Golf Club in Greenville this past Tuesday. He birdied three of the last four holes to win the playoff.