Coastal’s Soderberg rallies for top-10 start in NCAAs

Coastal Carolina junior Sebastian Soderberg is tied for 10th after posting an opening-round 3-under par 68 at the NCAA Athens Regional, played at the 7,253-yard, par 71 University of Georgia Golf Course.

The Regional will continue with 18 holes Friday and a final 18 holes Saturday. Soderberg will tee off at 10:20 am on Friday, starting on the 10th hole.

Top five teams and the low individual not on those squads will advance to the 2012 NCAA Championships in Pacific Palisades, Calif., played May 30-June 3 at the world famous Riviera Country Club.

Soderberg opened with a bogey on the par four, 473-yard first hole. He closed his front nine with birdies on six, seven and nine to stand at 2-under par 33 at the turn. He birdied the first three holes on the inward nine before posting a birdie on the par 3, 191-yard 13th hole. He would birdie the 17th hole, a 568-yard par five, before finding the sand and settling for a bogey on the 18th, a 488-yard par four.

“Sebastian got off to a slow start, which is expected since he has not competed in a month,” said Coastal Carolina Director of Golf Allen Terrell. “He finally got it going with a birdie on the sixth and played very solid the rest of the way. He consistently hit the fairways and played well despite to long layoff.”

Soderberg, a three-time All-Big South selection, has played exceptionally this spring. Including his 68 Thursday, Sodeberg has shot par or better in 10 of his last 16 rounds and is averaging 71.19 strokes per round.

Last year, Soderberg shot rounds of 71-72-67 for a 4-under 212 at the NCAA East-Virginia Tech Regional to tie for second and advance to the 2011 NCAA Championship.

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