Jan. 23, 2009
Today marks the second in a series of profiles on the University of South Carolina men’s and women’s golf teams. Our featured golfer for this week is freshman Clint Tolleson.
Clint is a product of Dorman High School in Spartanburg where he was a five-year letterman for the Cavaliers. He led the Cavaliers to a Class AAAA state championship in 2007 and earned all-state honors that year. He was an All-American as named by the National High School Golf Coaches Association that year and was on the organization’s Players of Achievement list in 2006. Tolleson captured the South Carolina Junior Match Play Championship in 2006 and turned in a pair of top-10 finishes in the Carolina Golf Association Junior Championship in 2006 and 2007.
He comes from an athletic family with his father, Wayne Tolleson, having played professional baseball for nine years for the Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. His older brother, Steven, played baseball for the Gamecocks and is currently on the 40-man roster for the Minnesota Twins.
What has been your proudest moment as a Gamecock?
Signing my national letter of intent.
What convinced you to come to school at USC in the first place?
I had always loved the school because of my brother. He played baseball for USC and I fell in love with the athletics. Once I began getting recruited the golf coaching staff and prestigious reputation of the Business School is what locked my decision down.
What are you most looking forward to in your USC career?
I look forward to helping the USC golf team continue to gain national respect. The team has made tremendous progress over the last couple of years and I look forward to contributing. Also I look forward to furthering my education and succeeding in the classroom.
What are you most excited about regarding the upcoming spring season?
I am most excited about having the chance and play against all of the top teams in the nation and helping the Gamecocks achieve goals.
Describe your “perfect” day (whether it involves golf or not).
My perfect day would begin with a Ken Taylor workout (maybe not at 6 a.m. like they usually are, we could push it back to 7 a.m., haha). Then I would like to have breakfast with my family. Then I would enjoy playing a round of golf with my friends and teammates. Then I would get a group of my friends, my brother, and my dad to go hunting in the afternoon. After that I would like a steak dinner from Carrabba’s with my family and my girlfriend (Steak Marsala to be particular). After that the last thing my perfect day would consist of is any action movie.
Favorite course you’ve ever played? (Why?)
Sea Island is the best course I have ever played. The course was unbelievable. It shows all of your game’s flaws with the bowl shaped greens and intimidating tee shots.
Most memorable round of golf (USC or otherwise)?
My most memorable round of golf was at TPC Sawgrass when I was 14. I was playing the Valley Course and I shot my first round in the 60s in my first national tournament.
To which pro golfer would you compare your game?
I would say my swing is most like Camilo Villegas. We both hit the ball a long way but have relatively short swings.
Who is your favorite golfer to watch compete?
Definitely Tiger Woods. I never get bored watching him play golf. He is a great competitor and I love learning from the way he plays.
What is your best shot/skill?
My best shot is with my driver.
How do Coach McDonald and Coach Blackmon inspire you?
The coaches have a presence about them that is all about winning. Second place does not cut it, and they set the mood for winning with their attitudes. That is what inspires me the most when I am around the coaches. Everything is about getting better and winning with the coaching staff, but they still find a way to make it fun for us.
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