Chants place third; Wheeler misses medal by one shot

Coastal Carolina sophomore Ben Wheeler shot a 2-under 69 in the final round to place runner-up, one stroke off the lead, while Sebastian Soderberg tied for fifth to lead the Chanticleers to a third-place finish in the 15-team field at the annual Windon Memorial, played at the par 71, 7.081-yard Skokie Country Club.

Coastal, which tied for the lead during the final round, finished third after shooting a 16-over par 300 over its final 18 holes. The Chants finished with a three-round total of 884 (294-290-300), three strokes off the winning score of 881 posted by Ohio State.

The Buckeyes turned in a 5-over 289 – the best final round in the field by four strokes – for a 54-hole total of 881, one stroke better than host and runner-up Northwestern (882). Rounding out the top five were Michigan State (889) in fourth with Tennessee and UC Davis tying for fifth (890).

Coastal also had two top 10 individual finishes and placed runner-up in its 2012-13 season-opening event at Air Force, giving Coastal a 23-3-1 record in two events this season.

This marked the first top 10 finish for Wheeler, the reigning Big South Freshman of the Year, as well as his third career round in the 60’s. Wheeler had an adventurous day to card his 2-under 69, getting seven birdies with three bogeys and a double bogey. Wheeler opened the round with a two pars before posting a double bogey on the par 5 third hole.

Wheeler rallied with birdies on the fourth and seventh holes to make the turn at even par. The back nine only featured one par as he had bogeys on holes 10, 12 and 15, while having birdies on holes 11, 13, 14, 16 and 18. Wheeler’s previous best finish was a tie for 12th at last spring’s John Hayt.

Soderberg, who tied for fifth with a 5-over par 218, turned in his second straight top five finish, tying for third in the season-opener at Air Force. The senior turned in rounds of 71-73-74. Soderberg had three birdies in each of his three rounds, but had two double bogeys in the final round to lead to his 3-over par 74. Over his last eight events, dating to last spring, Soderberg has turned in five top five finishes and seven top 20 finishes.

Roberto Ballesteros tied for 35th, dropping 15 spots after a final round 78 Tuesday. The junior finished with a 14-over par 227 (74-74-78). Ballesteros was 1-under through three holes before getting bogeys on four of his final six holes on the front nine to stand at 3-over. He opened the inward nine with birdies on three of his first four holes, but he had double bogeys on holes 12 and 17 and a bogey on 15.

Peter Valasek tied for 42nd, shooting 16-over 229 (76-71-82), while Andrew Dorn tied for 59th with a 235 (80-76-79). Easton Renwick, playing as an individual, placed 45th with a 54-hole score of 230 (83-71-76).

Coastal Carolina’s strong outing will hopefully set the stage for another successful Chanticleer performance in the Chicagoland area as three-time All-American Dustin Johnson arrived in the area for his second appearance in the Ryder Cup, played at Medinah Country Club in Chicago, Sept. 28-30 .

Coastal Carolina will return to action Oct. 12-14 at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, hosted by East Tennessee State at The Ridges Golf and Country Club. However, Valasek will be back in action Oct. 4-7 as he will be representing his native Slovakia at the 28th Annual World Amateur Team Championship in Antalya, Turkey.

 

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