Clemson Leads NCCGA National Championship After Round 1

The Clemson University club golf team set a number of goals long before the Fall 2014 NCCGA National Championship was set to begin.

The first: Win the Ryder Cup match versus rival Georgia. That goal was not fulfilled.

The second: Win both Regionals and earn a Nationals bid.


"The last goal was a National Championship," Clemson Club Golf President Johnny Garstka said following today's round.

After day one at Dancing Rabbit, the Tigers are well on their way to checking off that last box.

"We have the players, obviously, based on today's performance," Garstka said. "I just told the guys today before the round to stick to your process. One shot at a time, every shot counts out here. Be patient and confident and let's get it done. After today, I guess that paid off."

Clemson was led by the stellar play of Corey Stamper, who leads the individual aspect of the tournament after posting a 67 on the Oaks course Saturday. Stamper was 1-over par after two holes, but quickly rebounded with birdies on four of his next eight holes.

"My putting was pretty much the thing that was going well for me," Stamper said. "I hit a lot of good shots into the greens, but also made a lot of putts from 10 feet and outside of that."

The story of Stamper even making it to Mississippi compares to the likes of your favorite Disney flick.

After playing poorly in both Regionals, Clemson had selected a roster of eight players to represent the club that did not include Stamper.

Just two weeks ago, Garstka received a call from Cedric Van Wassenhove, winner of both Southeast regional tournament's this semester, with some bad news. Van Wassenhove, a Belgian exchange student studying at Clemson this semester, told Garstka that the team would have to head to Dancing Rabbit for the National Championship without him due to a heavy course load.

18 holes later, Stamper holds a two-shot lead over Michigan State's Josh Heinze.

"I played really bad in the Regionals," Stamper said. "I am really happy to just be here, honestly. I am happy I could pull through for my team."

***Dave Uhrmacher (@Dave Uhrm) is the NCCGA Director of Communications.