Coastal golf team finishes eighth at UCLA tournament

The Coastal Carolina men’s golf team concluded its fall portion of the 2013-14 schedule, placing eighth (295-285-286=866) at the 10-team Gifford Collegiate.

The event, hosted by UCLA, featured seven of the nation’s top 43 teams and was played at the par-70, 6,900-yard Ocean North Course at Pelican Hill Resort.

The Chanticleers posted the fifth-best score in the final round, but was not able to move up from its standing after 36 holes. However, the Chants were able to hold off #43 Tennessee for eighth place as the Volunteers were one of the teams that posted a lower round than CCU.

Top-ranked Alabama held on to a commanding 36-hole lead to claim the title, shooting 275-276-285 for a 4-under par 836. Southern California, ranked 28 nationally, posted the best round of the day to move from fourth to second with a 54-hole total of 839, followed by #26 SMU (842), #18 Washington (845), #37 Northwestern (848), #14 UCLA (852), Lamar (857), Coastal Carolina (866), #43 Tennessee (867) and Oregon (869).

Ben Wheeler jumped from 25th to finish tied for 11th thanks to a final-round, 4-under par 66, marking his seventh round or par or better in 12 round this fall. The junior birdied the second hole but suffered his lone bogey on the par 3 7th hole. The then reeled off four straight birdies on holes 8-11 before finishing with seven pars and his 66. The 66 for Wheeler ties his career low, however his previous occurrence came on a par 72 course in his freshman season.

Freshman Alfredo Ruiz posted his second consecutive round of even par 70 to finish tied for 32nd. After an opening round 78, he finished 707- for an 8-over par total of 218. Similar to his second round – when he was 3-over par through 14 holes before birdies on holes 16, 17 and 18 – Ruiz was 3-over par through 11 holes in the final round before posting birdies on holes 13, 15 and 18 to finish even for the day.

Christopher Williams, Roberto Ballesteros and Andrew Dorn completed the CCU quintet. Williams had three birdies in the final round and tied for 41st with a 13-over 223 (73-75-75). Ballesteros fell from 16th into a tie for 47th after a final round 84, shooting 70-71-84=225. Dorn rebounded from two tough holes to finish with birdies on three of his final four holes and tied for 54th with rounds of 80-79-75=234.

Coastal Carolina will return to action Feb. 15-16 at the University of Florida’s SunTrust Gator Invitational.

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