UPDATE: Clark has just eliminated the World’s #1 Four and Two with stellar back nine play. T’he match was even at the turn, and the former Wolfpack star turned it on, blazing his way to victory on the 16th hole.
Many of you folks may not follow professional golf, but it’s interesting to note that today at 2:02pm EST, NC State alumnus Tim Clark tees off against Tiger Woods in the second round Accenture Match Play tournament. They will play an 18-hole match, with the winner advancing and the loser going home. Woods, arguably the greatest athlete of our generation, is returning from re-constructive knee surgery after an 8-plus month layoff. He easily defeated #64 Brendan Jones, and just behind his match, #32 Clark was closing out former US Open and fellow South African Retief Goosen. This set up today’s showdown. Coverage will be on Golf Channel.
For those of you unfamilir with Clark, don’t be so quick to count him out in his match against Woods. Playing Woods is not a totally unfamiliar situation for the South African, who counts the 2006 Masters among his six career runner-up finishes on the PGA Tour; in fact, Clark has won just about everywhere but the U.S. So far. Clark has over twelve million dollars in official earnings, and seven wins globally, including last year’s Australian Open.
Expect Clark’s alma mater to be mentioned several times during the telecast, which is good news for NC State’s golfing program generally. It never hurts to have an alumnus squarely in the spotlight of their sport, and Clark will certainly have that today. Coupled with the new Lonnie Poole Golf Course on Centennial Campus that is slated to open in late spring of this year, it’s fair to say that things are looking up for one of our key non-revenue programs.
Additional note: if you watch today’s telecast of the tournament, keep an eye out for the “Sunshine and Lollipops” Nike commercial that focuses on Tiger’s return to competitive golf. At the very end, NC State’s Carl Petterson is the guy who lets out the long sigh. It’s pretty funny stuff, and Petterson was a good sport (and a well paid one too) to be in that spot.