CCU golf fourth, Obecny second at VCU Shootout

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot a 3-under par 285 Tuesday and finished fourth in the team’s opening event of 2017-18, the 12-team Janney VCU Shootout. The Chanticleers were led by Thadd Obecny II, who was runner-up and posted a career-best, 9-under par 207 (67-70-70) at the par 72, 6,927-yard Tuckahoe Creek Course at the Country Club of Virginia.

West Virginia won the team title with a score of 842, followed by Virginia Tech (850), Maryland (851) and Coastal (855). Oliver Whatley (Rutgers) was the clubhouse leader at 10-under par 206 and held off three others by one stroke, including CCU’s Obecny, to win medalist honors.

“I am very pleased with our effort this week,” said first-year head coach Jim Garren. “This whole week, the guys showed a lot of fight and toughness, which is something we are instilling in our players. Obviously we did not come out with the win, but we opened the season with an 8-3 record and had a chance. We still have a long way to go but, overall with a new group, it was a good start.”

Coastal’s team total of 9-under par 855 is the program’s best 54-hole score since carding an 851 at the 2013 NCAA Championship, which was played at a par 70 course. It was the program’s best 54-hole event score on a par 72 course since shooting 854 and finishing third at the 2013 Seminole Intercollegiate.

Obecny tied for the field lead with 14 birdies over the three rounds. His runner-up finish was not only the senior’s best career finish, it was additionally marked his first top five finish and just his second top 20 finish. Obecny’s score of 207 is seven strokes better than his previous 54-hole score and is the first time he shot all three of his rounds at an event below par. Obecny’s total additionally ties Dustin Johnson for 12th in the CCU 54-hole scoring list with only six better 54-hole scores being posted in school history.

“I am super proud of Thadd,” Garren said. “He was right there all day, kept battling and almost won the golf tournament. We talked about how Thadd has benefited the most from our system and today was proof of all his work. We are excited to see him continue on his current path.”

Obecny started his final round with a birdie on the par-4 fourth hole. He dropped a shot on the sixth ole before responding with a birdie on the seventh. A bogey on the 13th put Obecny at 1-over through 10 holes. However, he posted birdies on holes 16 and 18 and closed his round with three straight pars to card his 2-under par 70.

Daniel Overas also paced the Chants in the final round. While he finished in a tie for 60th with a score of 227, the junior overcame an opening-round 83 to shoot a one-over-par 73 in round two and fired a 1-under 71 on Tuesday thanks to five birdies and four bogeys.

Morgan Deneen and Luis Ruiz each turned in rounds of even par 72. Deneen, with four birdies and four bogeys in the final round, tied for 22nd in his first collegiate event with a score of1-under par 215 (73-70-72). Ruiz, with five birdies and five bogeys on Tuesday, tied for 26th with a total of 217 (74-71-72) to give the junior 12 rounds in his career at par or better.

Freshman Johnathan Goth-Rasmussen shot a 3-over 75 on the final day, but did so while recording 13 pars and a bogey. He finished in a tie for 63rd with a 54-hole score of 228 (72-81-75). Andrew Roy, playing as an individual, tied for 48th with a score of 222 (68-78-76).

The Chanticleers will return to action in two weeks (Oct. 7-8) to compete in the Tar Heel Intercollegiate.

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