Clemson University

USC golf team off to hot start

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's men's golf team got its season off to an excellent start, tying for first place at the Carpet Capital Collegiate last weekend.

The No. 20 Gamecocks forced a tie with Alabama for first place, but lost on the first playoff hole. Sophomore George Bryan led the way, firing a four-under 212 for third place.

It's the first action for the Gamecocks under their new management, former coach Puggy Blackmon moving to a supervisory role over the men's and women's golf teams and former assistant Bill McDonald taking over the men's coaching duties. The team entered the tournament facing five of the country's top 10 programs and left with a tie for first.

Clemson also competed at the tournament and finished 13th. Ben Martin shot a 227, good for 53rd place.

The two teams will take a few weeks off before meeting again at The Brickyard Collegiate in Macon, Ga.

• PERFECT: Clemson's men's cross country team won its second meet in as many tries over the weekend, cruising to a first-place finish at the Catamount Classic.

Freshman Chad Holt again led the Tigers, notching his second straight medalist honor in as many tries. The Greenville native ran the course in 15:28.0 and led Clemson over Elon, Furman and host Western Carolina.

Holt was followed by Will Noble (third) and Tyler Morey (fourth). Clemson will next compete at the Notre Dame Invitational on Sept. 28.

• STREAKING: Each school's women's soccer team has enjoyed tremendous starts and will meet Thursday in their annual rivalry match.

USC, ranked seventh in the country, will travel to No. 20 Clemson at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Lady Gamecocks have yet to lose, boasting a perfect 7-0 mark and the best start in school history. The season began with a shocking road upset of defending national champ North Carolina and continued with a win at the Carolinas Cup over the weekend.

Clemson was also at the Carolinas Cup but dropped its first match, 3-1 to Charlotte. USC and Clemson (5-1) were not scheduled to meet at the tournament.

• EARLY RECOGNITION: The Clemson men's basketball team was honored with the preseason No. 21 ranking by Blue Ribbon Yearbook.

The Tigers return four starters and 11 lettermen from last year's squad, which tied a school record with 25 wins. Clemson advanced to the championship game of the NIT before falling to West Virginia.

The Tigers begin the season Nov. 12, hosting Furman.

• BAD NEWS: Clemson's women's basketball team suffered a blow last week when senior guard Tasha Taylor tore an ACL during a workout. She'll miss the season.

A three-year starter, Taylor is 10th in school history with 338 assists. She averaged 11.9 points per game last year and was named the Lady Tigers' best defender.