Coastal, Soderberg finish fourth at Hyat Invitational

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team carded the third-lowest team round Tuesday, shooting a three-under 285, to move up six spots, defeat six teams ranked among the top 50 and finish fourth at the annual John Hayt Collegiate Invitational, played at the par 72, 6,977-yard Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The Chanticleers turned in rounds of 296-302-285 for a 54-hole total of 19-over par 833, the team’s best finish and score in relation to par for the 2011-12 season.  Arkansas, ranked eighth by GolfStat, won the event (299-292-281=872), followed by 17th-ranked UCF (294-294-288=876) and 13th-ranked North Florida (300-295-282=877). Coastal’s final day propelled the team past the likes of #40 North Texas, #42 TCU, #38 Tennessee, #23 LUS, #27 UAB and #49 Tulsa.

Coastal’s strong team finish was a result of top 15 individual performances by Sebastian Soderberg and Ben Wheeler and impressive rounds Tuesday by Roberto Ballesteros and Charlie Winegardner.

Soderberg had three birdies and four bogeys Tuesday to finish with a one-over 73. Overall, the junior posted rounds of 68-73-73 for a 54-hole score of two-under par 214 to finish tied for fourth. It marks his first top five finish of the season and the fourth of his career.

Wheeler easily had the best tournament of his young career, tying for 12th with a three-round score of 73-75-70=218. The freshman bounced back from a three-over 75 Monday to card a career-low, two-under 70 in the final round. Wheeler had five birdies Tuesday, including two over his final four holes to secure his 70.

Ballesteros, who shot a 78 in round one and 76 in round two, moved up 16 spots Tuesday with a two-under par 70 in the final round to tie for 36th. The sophomore birdied his second hole before suffering bogeys on his third and eighth holes to stand at one-over at the turn. Ballesteros closed the event with birdies on his 11th, 13th and 17th holes to card his 70 for his 11th career round of par or better.

Winegardner struggled over the first two rounds (80-78) but showed his true form Tuesday by shooting an even par 72. The senior traded a bogey and birdie through his first six holes before bogeys on his eighth and ninth holes. On his back nine, Winegardner birdied the par five fourth and par four seventh to finish with his 72. Winegardner tied for 63rd with a 54-hole total of 230.

Freshman Andrew Dorn tied for 67th, shooting 77-78-77=232. Classmate Easton Renwick played the event as an individual, tying for 76th with a total of 236 (80-72-84).

Coastal Carolina will return to action Mar. 11-12, hosting the 10th Annual General Hackler Championship. This year’s Hackler has a new home, teeing it up at the DeBordieu Club in Georgetown. As always, the Hackler will attract some of the nation’s top teams. The 2012 field includes Air Force, #8 Arkansas, two-time defending NCAA Champion #46 Augusta State, #45 East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Furman, #58 Lamar, Maryland, Navy, #21 New Mexico, Pepperdine, #38 Tennessee and #28 Virginia.

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