CLEMSON, S.C. – Andrew Swanson fired an opening round 69 to lead Clemson in its season opening round at the Visit Knoxville Collegiate at Tennessee National Country Club in Loudon, Tennessee. Clemson stands in eighth place with a 289 total after the first round in the 14-team tournament that includes schools from around the nation.
Host school Tennessee holds the first round lead with a score of seven under par 273 on the par 70 course that measures 7,280 yards. Mississippi State is second at 274, while East Tennessee State is third at five-under-par 275.
Clemson got off to a rough start as a team and was eight over par at the turn. But Jordan Byrd’s team shot just one over par on the back nine. The five Clemson players made 28 pars, one birdie and one par over the last six holes combined.
Swanson, who led Clemson in stroke average last year with a 71.39 figure, had three birdies and just two bogeys in shooting his round of 69. He stands in a tie for 13th place after 18 holes. It was his 12th career round in the 60s and 15th career under-par round. He made birdie on the par four 18th hole to finish his round strong. It was one of just five birdies on the finishing hole for the day.
Kian Rose was Clemson’s second best player on opening day with a 72 after nine hole scores of 36-36. He started the day with bogeys on two of his first three holes holes, then played the rest of the way at even par. His only birdie took place on the par four fifth hole. Rose is in his third year as a starter.
Jonathan Nielsen had a round of three over par 73 on Friday. He got off to a tough start with bogeys on his first two holes, then played the last 16 holes at just one-over-par. He also recorded his only birdie on the par four fifth hole.
Will Baker, a freshman from Georgia, made his debut for the Tigers on Friday. He also got off to a rough start and was three-over after three holes and five-over on the front nine (40). But Baker settled down on the back nine to shoot even-par 35, second to Swanson among Clemson players on the back nine.
Sophomore Thomas Higgins shot a 76 on Friday but he also settled down on the back nine where he made par on each of the last seven holes. Alberto Dominquez is playing the tournament as an individual and shot an 81.
The 14 teams return to action tomorrow at the Tennessee National Country Club for the second round. The tournament concludes on Sunday. Live scoring is available on golf stat.com