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Clemson Defeats Winthrop in New Match
At the USDGC’s inaugural Collegiate Exhibition Match, the Clemson University disc golf team prevailed by eight strokes over the host Winthrop University team, who were debuting their squad for the match.
The match was fairly close until Clemson, who finished at 63 (-4) took an eagle on the par 4 hole 10 while Winthrop could only score par. The Tigers went on to build on that momentum for the rest of the round. Winthrop, shooting a 71 (+4), played hard, but had a tough time staying with the more experienced Tigers.
Using the collegiate team doubles format, each squad of 4 players consists of two doubles partners. One set of partners tees off on the course’s odd holes, while the other doubles set tee-off on the even holes. After tee-off, each team determines their best shot and the players who didn’t tee, play their team’s next shot. Each team continues to alternate and choose their best shot until the hole is complete.
Before Saturday’s match, which began before the USDGC’s final round, Winthrop competitor Kevin Roux was a little nervous, but really excited.
“I’ve been looking forward to doing this for years … Never thought it would be possible to do it here,” said Roux, a senior.
Clemson junior Brian Fitzpatrick was the Tigers’ long bomber for the day. He drove to the green on the 554-foot hole 10 and then launched another 400-foot plus shot on hole 13 to give his team another eagle try.
“It was a lot of fun to have the perfect upshot and just be able to crush it,” said Fitzpatrick, referring to his big drive on hole 13.
Winthrop’s Kyle Rhine managed to land safely on the island green of hole 17, a hole many pros find difficult. Playing the course twice a week, the sophomore said he had a good idea of how to throw it.
The Winthrop team is hoping to qualify for the National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships held in the spring. They’ll continue to build team cohesion at a warm up tournament in November in Charlotte.
Rhine said the new team’s goals are to stay competitive and to boost disc golf awareness around the university. He said not enough people appreciate the disc golf course gem they have in their backyard.