Chants, Ruiz enjoy record lows at Tar Heel tourney

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team shot under par in each of its three rounds (17 under par overall); carded a score of 847, which ties for the fourth-best, 54-hole score in school history; and finished fifth in the 12-team Tar Heel Intercollegiate, played at the par 72, 7,242-yard UNC Finley Golf Course.

The Chanticleers were led by Luis Ruiz. The junior tried for third and posted a career-best score or 204. The total ties for the fifth-best, three-round score in CCU history. He was bogey-free in the final round, recording three birdies, and only had two bogeys with 14 birdies for the 54 holes. It marked the first time he shot three rounds at one event in the 60’s (68-67-69). Ruiz led the field in par 3 scoring at 5-under.

Host North Carolina won the event with a score of 815 (49-under par), followed by Jacksonville (838, 26-under), UNC Wilmington (843), Maryland (844), Coastal and Virginia Tech (848). In its first two events, Coastal Carolina is a combined 26 under par as a team and shot below par as a team in all six rounds.

As for the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, Coastal had some of the program’s best results for 18, 36 and 54 holes, including:
• The 280 team score in the first round tied for 22nd-best in school history and best since 2013.
• The 562 team score in the first two rounds tied for sixth and was the best since 2012.
• The 847 team score for 54 holes tied for fourth in school history and was the best since 2009.
• Morgan Deneen’s second-round 66 tied for the seventh-best, 18-hole score in school history.
• Luis Ruiz’s 135 score for the opening 36 holes tied for fifth-best in school history.
• Luis Ruiz’s 204 score for 54 holes tied for fifth-best in school history.

“It was a great week for Luis,” said first-year head coach Jim Garren. “He played solid, smart golf and stuck to his game plan which resulted in a lot of birdies. Thadd (Obecny) also had a solid week. Minus a couple of mistakes in the second round, he could have had another top five finish. Morgan continues to impress us with his good play.

“However, this is a team game and we did not perform that well as a team this weekend.” Garren added. “When the golf course sets up for low scores, we have to have all five guys take advantage of that. We did not have that this weekend but I know we will get better.”

Ruiz, who started on hole 4 Sunday, reeled off 10 pars to start the day before posting birdies on holes 14 and 18. He then closed his round with a birdie on his 18th hole to card his 3-under par 69. On Saturday, he had five birdies with one bogey in the opening round while having six brides with one bogey in the afternoon session. In fact, Ruiz carded five consecutive birdies on holes 7 through 12.

Thadd Obecny II jumped 12 spots to tie for 12th thanks to a final round score of 68. His 54-hole score was 210, marking his second-best career score following his 207 in the season opener. Obecny had his second straight top 15 finish — thanks to a runner-up finish in the opening event this season — as well as his third career top 15 finish. The senior actually had one more birdie than Ruiz for the event, collecting 15, while playing the par 3’s at 2-under and playing the par 4’s even.

On Sunday, Obecny opened with a birdie on the par-5 6th hole and was 3-under after eight holes. He dropped two shots on the par-5 17th but rallied to post birdies on three of his last four holes for his 4-under 68.

Morgan Deneen, who opened with an even par 72 and shot a 6-under 66 Saturday afternoon, tallied a 211 over three rounds (72-66-73) and placed 19th after a 1-over par 73 Sunday. All of his scoring came over a 10-hole span as he posted three birdies and four bogeys while finishing with 11 total pars.

Andrew Roy finished 69th after shooting a 75 Sunday and 226 for the event (72-79-75). However, he turned in 39 pars, which was the second-best total and tied for third for the event. Roy had 14 pars during the final round with one birdie, a double bogey and two bogeys. Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen was 75th with a score of 236 (80-75-81).

Coastal Carolina will return to action Thursday at the annual ETSU Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, play in Jonesborough, Tenn., at The Ridges.

– Photo courtesy of CCU Athletics

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