2003: More hardware for Penley, Mahan
Larry Penley was on top from start to finish, as his Clemson men’s team was Golfweek’s preseason favorite and remained in the No. 1 spot each week of the season.
Penley, in his 20th year leading the Tigers, also won the ACC Championship, the NCAA East Regional and the biggest prize – his first NCAA Division I Championship. It marked the first time since regional play began in 1989 that any team won its conference, regional and the NCAA in the same season.
Those performances earned Penley the 2002-03 Golfweek’s College Coach of the Year honor.
Golfweek’s Player of the Year is Oklahoma State junior Hunter Mahan, who finished No. 1 in the final Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
Penley guided the Tigers to their most successful season. Clemson also captured three other titles and only once in 13 starts finished outside the top 2 (a tie for third at the Toyota Men’s Collegiate Golf Championship in Las Vegas).
“It’s a great honor to be named coach of the year, but it’s the players who deserve the credit,” said Penley, whose team posted an overall 183-8-3 record. “They worked hard and never lost their focus.”
Mahan, who announced last week that he would skip his senior season at Oklahoma State and turn pro following this week’s U.S. Open, edged Clemson’s D.J. Trahan for player of the year. Mahan finished the season with a 68.69 Golfweek/Sagarin rating.
In 12 starts, the two-time first-team All-American had nine top-10 finishes, including an eighth at the NCAA finals. He won three tournaments, highlighted by his 13-shot victory at the Big 12 Conference Championship. He finished the season with a 70.62 scoring average.
“I’m very honored,” said Mahan. “There were a lot of very talented players out there this season and because of that it makes it that much more special.”
Mahan also was co-winner with Arizona’s Ricky Barnes of the Ben Hogan Award (college and amateur career) and won the Jack Nicklaus Award as college golf’s Player of the Year after the NCAAs.