Coastal golfers in fourth at prestigious UCLA tourney

Coastal Carolina, one of eight teams ranked among the nation’s top 50 at annual UCLA Gifford Collegiate, sits in fourth place in a 10-team field after 18 holes Monday, shooting a 7-over, 362 at the 7.360-yard, par 71 CordeValle Golf Club.

The Gifford Collegiate is one of the more unique college events in that the tournament has six golfers per team, counting the five best scores each round. A typical college event has five golfers, counting the best four scores each round.

Host and fifth-ranked UCLA leads the field after the first day, shooting a 5-under 350, followed by #17 Stanford (353) and #30 Tennessee (355). San Jose State and #23 Northwestern are tied for fifth, one stroke behind Coastal, followed by #13 SMU, #8 Southern California, #50 Oregon State and Lamar.

Sophomore Andrew Dorn, who started on the back nine, was even par after 14 holes, including two birdies and two bogeys. Dorn had a birdie on the par 3 seventh hole and carded pars on his final two holes to finish with a 1-under 70 and stand in a tie for ninth.

Sebastian Soderberg, ranked 43rd in the nation, carded an even-par round of 71 and it tied for 13th. Like Dorn, Soderberg offset his two bogeys, being 2-over after five holes, with birdies on his eighth and 14th holes for his even par round. Wheeler struggled early, being 5-over par through eight holes thanks to a bogey and two double bogeys. However, he rallied to birdie his ninth hole and, after suffering a bogey on his 12th hole, posted birdies on three of his final six holes to finish with his 2-over.

Roberto Ballesteros and Ben Wheeler each turned in 2-over rounds of 73 to tie for 31st. Ballesteros was even going into his final hole, posting three bogeys and three birdies, before ending with a double-bogey.

Easton Renwick posted a 4-over 75, while Peter Valasek had a 5-over 76. Kevin Vanden Heuvel is playing as an individual and the junior is tied for 23rd with a 1-over 72. He had two double bogeys but registered a team-best six birdies, including four on his final nine holes.

The three-day Gifford Collegiate will continue with 18 holes Tuesday and a final 18 holes on Wednesday.

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