CCU’s Soderberg slips but still in NCAA Regional hunt

After posting a 3-under 68 Thursday, Coastal Carolina junior Sebastian Soderberg carded a 3-over 74 Friday to drop five spots into a tie for 15th with a two-day total of 142 at the 2012 NCAA Athens Regional, played at the 7,253-yard, par 71 University of Georgia Golf Course.

Soderberg started on the back nine. After getting up and down for a par on 10, the Ojersjo, Sweden, native landed his approach from the fairway to within three feet and tapped in for birdie on his second hole. On the 14th hole, his fifth on the day, his approach wet long. However, he nearly saved par but his 10-foot putt was wide. He got that stroke back on the par 3 16th, hitting a six iron off the tee to three feet and getting birdie. For the second day in a row, Soderberg posted a bogey on the 18th hole as he would make the turn at even par and still 3-under for the Regional.

Soderberg ran into some trouble on his second nine, getting bogeys on the first four holes. He got back on track with a pair of pars. Despite finding the sand on the 556-yard par 5, Soderberg stuck his sand shot to six feet to birdie his 16th hole. He would par the final two holes for his 3-over 74.

Soderberg is third among the individuals playing and is two behind the top individual, South Florida’s Trey Valentine. The top five teams and the low individual not on those squads will advance to the 2012 NCAA Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., played May 30-June 3 at the world famous Riviera Country Club. If the Regional ended Friday, Long Beach’s Philip Chian would be the one who would have advanced. At 3-under and in seventh, he is the top individual not on one of the current top five teams.

The 2012 NCAA Athens Regional will conclude with 18 final holes Saturday. Soderberg will tee off at 9:30 and once again start on the 10th hole.

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