CCU’s Dorn, Wheeler earn NCAA tournament invitations

ccugolf-dorn3The Coastal Carolina men’s golf program will have representation in the NCAA postseason for the 15th consecutive season as juniors Ben Wheeler and Andrew Dorn earned individual berths to the NCAA Raleigh Regional, played May 15-17 at Lonnie Poole Golf Club and hosted by North Carolina State University.

The top five teams from the NCAA Raleigh Regional and the highest finishing individual not on one of those five teams will advance to the NCAA Championship. The NCAA finals will be conducted May 23-28 in Hutchinson, Kan., at Prairie Dunes Country Club.

Wheeler (South Croydon, England/Trinity HS) earned an automatic bid to the Regional as the 2014 Big South Champion. Wheeler was additionally named All-Big South and Academic All-Big South this season. He averaged 73.09 strokes in his 33 rounds and finished among the top 20 in five of his 11 events, including two top five finishes. Wheeler additionally posted 14 rounds of par or better, including five rounds in the 60’s.

Last season, Wheeler helped Coastal Carolina advance from the NCAA Regional to the NCAA Championship, where he placed 26th after shooting a 1-under par 209. Wheeler has a career scoring average of 73.78, which currently ranks eighth on the CCU all-time list.

Dorn (West Chester, Ohio/Archbishop Moeller HS) earned the eighth of 10 individual bids at the NCAA Raleigh Regional. Dorn was named All-Big South after winning this year’s General Hackler Championship and being the Big South Golfer of the Week twice. He averaged 73.46 strokes in his 33 rounds with 13 rounds of par or better. He had three top 10 finishes, including a seventh-place finish at the 2014 Big South Championship. In addition to his solid 2013-14 collegiate campaign, Dorn is the reigning North-South Amateur Champion and is the reigning Ohio Amateur Champion.

Dorn, a two-time All-Big South selection, tied for 40th at last year’s NCAA Baton Rouge Regional. However, his final round score of 75 was critical in Coastal advancing to the NCAA Championships. Dorn has a career scoring average of 74.33 to currently rank 10th on the CCU all-time list.

Wheeler (five times) and Dorn (five times) combined to be Coastal’s top finisher in 10 of the team’s 11 meets in 2013-14.

Coastal Carolina qualified as a team for an NCAA Regional in 2000, ’02, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11 and ’13. The Chants previously had individual representation in 2001, ’03 and ’12. This marks the first time Coastal has qualified two individuals for an NCAA Regional.

Coastal advanced to the NCAA as a team in 2005, ’06, ’07 and ’13, while Sebastian Soderberg advanced to the national championship as an individual in 2011.

Coastal Carolina’s top individual finishes at an NCAA Regional included Dustin Johnson winning the 2005 East Regional, Johnson finishing runner-up in the 2006 East Regional, Johnson placing eighth in the 2007 NCAA East Regional, Dan Obremski placing 10th at the 2010 Southeast Regional, Soderberg finishing runner-up at the 2011 NCAA East-Virginia Tech Regional and Peter Valasek placing sixth at the 2013 NCAA Baton Rouge Regional.

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