Clemens Takes Aim At NCAA Championship
May 27, 2013
ATLANTA (SMU) - With plenty of confidence after winning the NCAA Fayetteville Regional, SMU senior Mario Clemens feels very good as he goes into the NCAA Championships at the Capital City Club in Minton, Ga. starting Tuesday.
"I definitely have a lot of momentum right now," Clemens said. "I'm feeling good. There's no reason why I can't go out there and play my best."
There's another reason Clemens feels he can play his best - he's done his research. Clemens has analyzed the results of the Ping/GolfWeek Preview that was played on the same course at the Capital City Club on Sept. 23-25, in which only one player finished under par and only nine of the 75 participants carded totals of even par or better. Clemens excels on difficult courses, a skill he proved last weekend in winning the NCAA Regional at the challenging Blessings Golf Club May 16-18.
"I saw the scores from the preview there and the winning score was two-under, so I'm assuming it's going to be firm, fast and hard, which is good for me because I like hard golf courses," Clemens said.
To win, Clemens will have to beat out 155 of the best collegiate golfers in the nation. 30 teams of five players each and six total individuals will converge for the 75th edition of the national championship. Play will begin Tuesday when the 30 teams battle in 54 holes of stroke play, with 18 holes each day over three days.
Clemens has saved his best golf for the end of the season. After starting the 2012-13 campaign with three finishes outside the top 28, Clemens has posted five finishes of 11th or better in his last seven outings, including his win in the NCAA Regional and a fifth-place result at the Conference USA Championships on April 21-23. His win at the NCAA Regionals also bumped him almost 50 spots up in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings, and the senior now sits in the top 100.
This year's event will mark Clemens' second NCAA Championship appearance. The native of Beverly Hills, Calif. also competed while playing at UCLA during his freshman season in 2010, finishing 143rd. Clemens believes his prior experience will help give him a good shot to finish atop the leaderboard.
"This is my second NCAA Championship, so I know what to expect," Clemens said. "Being my last college tournament, I'm going to go in trying to win."
2013 NCAA DIVISION I MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP Where: Capital City Club - Crabapple Course, Milton, Ga. When: May 27-June 2, 2013 Who: 30 teams advancing from six regional tournaments held around the country May 16-18 Format: Three rounds of stroke play May 28-30 (18 holes each day), top eight teams advance to match play championship May 31-June 2 Course information: 7,319 yards, par 70, bermuda fairways and rough, bentgrass greens Daily Schedule Tuesday, May 28 - Round 1, stroke play, 7 a.m. Wednesday, May 29 - Round 2, stroke play, 7 a.m. Thursday, May 30 - Round 3, stroke play, 7 a.m. Friday. May 31 - Quarterfinals, match play, 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1 - Semifinals, match play, 10 a.m. Sunday, June 2 - Championship match, 10 a.m.