Chants survive late Liberty run to claim Big South title

Coastal Carolina withstood a late charge from Liberty to hold on and win the 2013 Big South Men’s Golf Championship on Tuesday, as the Chanticleers finished with a team aggregate 881 to win by two strokes over the Flames at The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harber (par 72, 7,120 yards).

It is Coastal Carolina’s first men’s golf title since 2010 and 14th overall and ends Liberty’s two-year championship run.  Liberty sophomore Mathieu Fenasse used three birdies on the final five holes to win Medalist honors.

The final round featured calmer winds than the previous two rounds and enabled four golfers to finish the day with red numbers.  Fenasse, who entered the final round tied for fourth and two shots behind 36-hole leader Cameron Bell, posted a tournament-low 66 on Tuesday to finish with a 5-under 211 (75-70-66) and three stroke victory over runner-up Sebastian Soderberg (2-under 214).  Fenasse had four birdies on the front nine and made the turn at 2-under, then played bogey-free on the back nine with another four birdies to finish with a 66.

Soderberg held a one-shot lead when he reached 3-under par after 12 holes before Fenasse took the lead on his birdie at No. 14.  Fenasse was 3-under on the final five holes while Soderberg was 1-over during the same sequence.  Soderberg ended with a 2-under 70 and finished the Championship with a 2-under 214 (71-73-70).  Bell posted an 80 in the final round and dropped into a tie for seventh-place at 7-over 223.

The final team standings saw Winthrop and Radford remain in their respective spots on the leaderboard.  The Eagles finished third with an 891 while the Highlanders finished fourth with a 906.  Charleston Southern made the biggest charge, moving up from ninth to take fifth-place with a 914.  Host Gardner-Webb was sixth at 917, with Presbyterian College and Campbell tying for seventh (918).  High Point was ninth (930), followed by new Big South member Longwood (942).

Earning inaugural All-Championship Team honors were Fenasse, Soderberg, Charleston Southern’s Ross Thomson, Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Dorn and Liberty’s Max McKay.

In addition, the Big South announced its Men’s Golf annual award winners on Tuesday afternoon.  The awards were voted on by the head coaches following the Championship and are based on regular-season and Championship performance.  Soderberg was voted Golfer of the Year while Radford’s Conner Hayden was voted Freshman of the Year.  Winthrop head coach Kevin Pendley was voted Coach of the Year, and McKay was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South’s Sports Information Directors.

The Chanticleers will now await their NCAA Regional assignment at one of six locations in the nation.  The Regionals will be conducted May 16-18, 2013.  Below are the final team and individual results, as well as the Men’s Golf award recipients.

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