Kleen captures first collegiate title at Puerto Rico Classic
Kleen captures first collegiate title at Puerto Rico Classic
Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Bucs finish runner-up in Puerto Rico

RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico (Feb. 14, 2023) – ETSU’s Algot Kleen (Fiskebackskil, Sweden) captured his first collegiate title as the Buccaneer sophomore won the Puerto Rico Classic on Tuesday from the Grand Reserve Golf Club.

Kleen, who began the round two shots back of the lead, fired a 6-under 66 on Tuesday en route to finishing with a 54-hole score of 13-under-par 203 (66-71-66). The Fiskebackskil, Sweden native totaled seven birdies, 10 pars and one bogey on Tuesday en route to tying his collegiate low, which he also set in Sunday’s opener. Kleen won the tournament by three shots, while he led the field with 17 birdies over the three rounds.

Kleen got things rolling on the par-5, 535-yard No. 5 as he picked up his first birdie and followed up with another on the next hole – the par-3, 203-yard No. 6. Following the birdie on No. 6, Kleen moved atop the leaderboard and he finished the front nine with a birdie on No. 9, playing the front nine with a 33. The Buccaneer sophomore collected back-to-back birdies for the second time of the day coming on No. 11 and No. 12 – and after a bogey on the par-4 14th –

Kleen finished with two birdies and two pars to post the 66.

Prior to today’s win, Kleen’s previous best finish came last season where he finished tied for second at the General Hackler Championship. Kleen is the first Buccaneer to win medalist honors this season and the fourth Southern Conference golfer to win a title in 2022-23.

With the win in Puerto Rico, Kleen joins David Christensen as the only two Buccaneers to win the Puerto Rico Classic. Christensen won the 1999 event.

After holding the team lead for the first two rounds, ETSU finished runner-up at 25-under-par 839. The Blue & Gold posted a 6-under 282 on Tuesday; however, Oklahoma – who trailed the Bucs by five shots entering the day – carded a 16-under 272 in the finale to finish at 30-under-par 834 for the tournament. The Bucs finished ahead of six top-50 programs, including No. 9 Tennessee (6th, -17), No. 24 Ohio State (5th, -20) and No. 31 Georgia (3rd, -24).

The second-place finish marked ETSU’s third top-five finish this season. Furthermore, this was the Bucs’ best placing at the Puerto Rico Classic in the 25 times playing in this tournament. ETSU finished third in both 1996 and 1999.

Mats Ege (Kristiansand, Norway) and Archie Davies (Carlisle, England) both posted a 1-under 71 on Tuesday. Ege finished the tournament tied for 10th at 7-under-par 209 (64-74-71), while Davies tied for 24th at 4-under-par 212 (71-70-71).

The next tournament up for the Bucs is the Wake Forest Invitational, which will be held March 6-7 in Pinehurst, N.C.  

For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.