There was no time for Chris Carns to take a lesson, no time to visit a putting guru or absorb a weekend mountain retreat to clear his head. Carns was picked by a member of Clemson’s sports marketing department to attempt a 94-foot putt on the basketball court at Littlejohn Coliseum Jan. 6, and he would attempt the putt for $10,000 at the next stoppage in the game.
The Chester native’s ambitions were simple: “I was just telling myself I wanted to hit cardboard. As long as I hit the big sign (behind the cup) I was okay. I didn’t want to miss it that bad.
“It kind of surprised me when it went in.”
Carns rolled the little white golf ball the length of the Clemson Tigers’ basketball court toward a tiny cup at the other end. Clemson in-game entertainment personality Jeremiah Dew followed the ball’s path, but Carns remained at the far baseline. He didn’t want to celebrate too early, only for the putt to tail wide.
Then Dew leaped.
The crowd erupted and Carns danced with his two new best friends, Dew and the Tiger mascot.
“I was jumping around, definitely happy,” said Carns, whose fateful putt made the rounds on social media and was picked up by ESPN, among many other news outlets.
Carns is majoring in accounting at Clemson and he plans to use a healthy portion of his golf winnings to finance graduate school. He could count on one hand the number of times he’s successfully played a round of golf. But he does own a set of clubs.
“I got them at Dick’s a summer or two ago just because they were on sale,” said Carns. “But I haven’t put them to use yet.”