Coastal Men's Golf Finishes 3rd at Gary Koch Invitational
GASTONIA, N.C. - On the strength of top 10 finishes by Olle Widegren (fifth) and Alfredo Ruiz (ninth), Coastal Carolina finished a season-best third by firing a 54-hole score of 862 at the Gary Koch Invitational, played at the par 72, 7,042-yard Gaston Country Club.
Coastal posted a 7-under 281 to mark the team's lowest single-round score of the season by three strokes and tied for the second-lowest round of the day. The 54-hole total of 862 is also the Chanticleers' season-best score by five strokes this season. This is the first time Coastal had two players finish among the top 10 since Ben Wheeler and Andrew Dorn accomplished the feat at the Sea Best Invitational (Feb. 2015).
Co-host and #20 Auburn won the 14-team event with a score of 846, followed by #43 North Carolina State (854) and the Chants. Georgia Southern, who was tied with CCU after 36 holes, shot a final-round 6-under to fall to a tie for fourth with UL Monroe, who posted a 9-under Tuesday and total score of 863. Virginia, ranked 13th, was fifth and #37 Kentucky was sixth.
Widegren, who had been nursing an injured wrist most of the spring, not only turned in is best performance of the season, finishing in a tie for fifth, with his score of 4-under par 212 but it was his best outing of his career. The senior did have a runner-up finish in his first ever collegiate outing but it was just a 36-hole event and he was playing as an individual. Later in his freshman season, he shot what was his collegiate best, shooting a 219 at Florida State and finishing 19th.
On Tuesday, Widegren shot a 69 for the second consecutive day thanks to five birdies and two bogeys. In fact, his birdie on the final hole secured Coastal's third-place finish, one stroke ahead of Sun Belt members Georgia Southern and ULM.
Ruiz records his third top 10 finish of the season by tying for ninth with a 2-under par 214. The senior shot rounds of 74-69-71 and moved up three spots with his 1-under 71 today. Ruiz carded four birdies and four bogeys on the front nine to make the turn at even par. He then birdied 11 and 13 before dropping a shot on 16 for his 71.
Thadd Obecny II made a big move on the final day by shooting a 3-under 69 Tuesday. He jumped 21 places into 38th with a score of 221 (77-75-69). He was even at the turn with a birdie on hole 7 and a bogey on the 8th. He then had a bogey-free inward nine with birdies on holes 12, 16 and 18.
Luis Ruiz shot an even par 72 in the final round and tied for 23rd with a 54-hole total of 217 (70-75-72). Ryan Carpenter tied for 71st (78-73-82=234). States Fort, playing as an individual, tied for 44th with a score of 223 (78-71-74).
Coastal Carolina will now turn its attention to the Sun Belt Championship, played April 23-25 at the Raven Course in Florida.