Coastal finishes tied for sixth at prestigious ETSU tourney

Coastal Carolina had three golfers finish among the top 20 and the team posted a score of 2-under 862 to tie for sixth in the 13-team East Tennessee State Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, played at the par 72, 7,147-yard Blackthorn Club at The Ridges.

Sebastian Soderberg placed among the top eight for the third time in three events this season, finishing tied for 8th with a 3-under 213 (71-70-72). Roberto Ballesteros recorded his second top six finish by tying for sixth with a 4-under 212 (73-68-71). Andrew Dorn was Coastal’s third top 20 finisher, tying for 17th, to mark best career finish as he shot a 1-over 217 (70-74-73).

The field featured five teams ranked among the nation’s top 40, including #37 Coastal Carolina. Missouri, ranked 12th, turned in the second-best round of the day (286) to move past #31 Tennessee for team medialist honors. The Tigers finished with a 7-under 857 (285-286-286), one stroke better than the Volunteers (280-287-291=858). UNC Wilmington charged up four spots to third, thanks to a team-best 7-under 281 Sunday, finishing with a 54-hole total of 859. Memphis placed fourth (860), followed by Virginia (861), Coastal (862), #21 Wake Forest (862) and #39 Virginia Tech (869).

Ballesteros had 13 pars on the final day and was sitting at 3-under par through 13 holes before bogeys on the par 5 14th hole and the par 4 18th forced the junior to settle for his 1-under 71. This marks the second time this season Ballesteros has finished an event at 3-under par and the fourth time in his career he have finished an event under par.

Soderberg had yet another impressive tournament. The senior entered the event as the nation’s 58th-ranked golfer and he proved why by shooting par or better in each of his three rounds. Through three events, he has now shot par or better in six of his nine rounds. Soderberg was on track to finish as high as third, but he suffered a triple bogey on the par four 17th hole to go from 3-under to even par for the day.

Dorn, who was in a tie for fourth after the first round, was standing at 3-over par through 11 holes in the final round before posting birdies on holes 12 and 17 to register his 1-over par 73. In addition to the 17th-place finish being the best of his career, the 54-hole score of 217 is his best by two strokes. His previous bests were finishing with a 219 and tying for 20th in the team’s first event of 2012-13.

Ben Wheeler and Peter Valasek rounded out Coastal’s scoring. Wheeler, the reigning Big South Freshman of the Year, tied for 42nd after shooting a 1-over 73 Sunday and carding a 5-over 221 (77-71-73) for the tournament. Valasek, who tied for 19th at last week’s World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey, finished 62nd with a three-day tally of 226 (77-73-76). Kevin Vanden Heuvel played the event as an individual and the junior placed 71st with a score of 243 (78-82-83).

Coastal Carolina will conclude its fall portion of the 2012-13 schedule Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at the annual Gifford Collegiate, hosted by UCLA at the CordeValle Golf Club.

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