Whaley dominates Clemson Invitational

Vincent Whaley during the final round of the Clemson Invitational April 3, 2016. (mandatory copyright: Vern Verna / Ai Wire)

Junior golfer Vincent Whaley highlighted a triumphant weekend for the golf team at the Clemson Invitational, placing first among all 66 individual golfers to claim his second career collegiate victory.

The team finished with a +8 score in a tie for second amongst the 12-team field, behind only host and No. 11 Clemson’s -3.

Whaley finished the three-round, 54-hole tournament at -8, putting him two shots ahead of Robin Sciot-Siegrist, the second-place finisher from Louisville. He propelled himself into the top spot with a 5 under par 67 in round two and was able to maintain his advantage with a one-under 71 in the final round on Sunday.

Whaley began the tournament with a bogey on the first hole but birdied three of the next five to sit at 2 under par. He then hovered around -1 over a stretch of 10 holes and entered the par 5, 546-yard 18th at even par, which he swiftly eagled to drop to -2. He scored a birdie on seven holes in the second round (along with two bogies) to tie for the best single round in the tournament at 67 and give him a two shot lead over the rest of the field. From there, he maintained his lead throughout the final round to clinch the victory and enable the Jackets to take second place as a team.

Sophomore James Clark finished second for the Jackets and seventh overall with a total score of one over par. He got off to a rocky start in round one with double bogeys on holes 2 and 4 to sit at +4 but calmly rebounded to crawl his way back to even par at the end of the round. Round two was not as kind to Clark: he shot -1 on the front nine, but a string of five bogeys out of seven holes on the back nine left him at +2 on the day — he eagled the 537-yard par 5 16th to lessen the damage. Round three was a tale of two halves: he shot a +3 on the front nine and a -4 on the back nine to finish at -1 on the day.

Junior Michael Hines and sophomores Jacob Joiner and Chris Petefish rounded out the Jackets’ team lineup for the invitational. Hines’s total of +9 placed him in a tie for No. 27, while Joiner and Petefish tied for No. 35 with a score of +13. Freshman Tyler Joiner and sophomore Michael Pisciotta competed as individuals in the event, posting scores of +7 (T23) and +22 (T55) respectively.

The Jackets will be back this weekend at the Princeton Invitational before heading to the ACC Championship at the Old North State Club in New London, NC, from April 22–24.