Coastal’s Dorn, Wheeler net NCAA Regional invitations

ccugolf-dornopenFor the third consecutive year, Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Dorn and Ben Wheeler will be playing in an NCAA Regional. The pair received at-large individual berths to the Chapel Hill Regional which will be played May 14-16 at the University of North Carolina’s Finley Golf Course.

Wheeler, the fourth seed, and Dorn, the sixth seed, were two of 10 individuals to earn a berth to the Chapel Hill Regional. The low individual from each Regional, not on one of the teams that advances to the NCAA Championship, will qualify to play for the NCAA individual title, conducted May 29-June 3 at The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.

Wheeler led Coastal Carolina with a 72.29 scoring average this season and was named both All-Big South and academic All-Big South for the second straight season. Wheeler had two top-5 finishes and finished among the top 20 in seven of his 10 events played. He had six rounds in the 60’s and a total of 12 rounds of par of better. Wheeler is entering the NCAA Regional on a hot streak. Over his last 10 rounds, the senior is 4-under par with a runner-up finish and two additional top-15 finishes. For his career, Wheeler is fifth on the CCU all-time scoring list with a stroke average of 73.58, trailing Chanticleer greats Dustin Johnson (72.11), Alvaro Velasco (72.77), Sebastian Soderberg (73.45) and Zack Byrd (73.54). In 44 career events, Wheeler has 19 top -20 finishes and, in 126 career rounds, has shot par or better 42 times, including 16 rounds in the 60’s.

Dorn was just off Wheeler’s pace as he has posted a season scoring average of 72.63. At the end of March, Dorn posted an 11-under par 205 to be co-medalist (lost in a playoff) at the Hootie @ Bulls Bay, marking his second career title. He then finished ninth at the 2015 Big South Championship to give the senior three top-10 finishes at the conference meet. The three-time All-Big South selection had six top-20 finishes this season and shot par or better in 13 rounds, including a career-high eight rounds in the 60’s. For his career, Dorn currently ranks ninth on the school’s career scoring list (73.89) with 42 career rounds of par or better in 42 career events (126 rounds), including 13 rounds in the 60’s.

This marks the 16th consecutive year the Coastal Carolina men’s golf program has been represented in the NCAA postseason. As sophomores in 2013, Dorn and Wheeler helped the Chanticleers advance to the NCAA Championship, where Wheeler finished 26th after shooting a 1-under par 209 through 54 holes. Dorn carded a 5-over 215 at the national championship. Last year, Dorn shot a 1-over 213 to tie for 15th at the Raleigh Regional while Dorn placed 72nd.

In addition to their NCAA experience, both Dorn and Wheeler were selected to play in this year’s Jones Cup Invitational which features the top amateurs in the world. Dorn won the 113th North & South Amateur (2013) and advanced through local qualifying to play in the 114th U.S. Open (2014). Wheeler played in both the 2013 and 2104 Amateur Open (The British Amateur Championship).

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