April 22, 2013
NINETY SIX - Despite high winds on Monday, the Coastal Carolina men's golf team shaved five strokes off its first round 296 - thanks to a 68 by Roberto Ballesteros- to shoot 289 and lead the 10-team Big South Championship field with a 36-hole score of 9-over par 585 at the par 72, 7,120-yard Patriot Club at Grand Harbor.
After trailing Liberty by two strokes in round one, the Chanticleers lead the Flames (588) by three strokes after Monday's second round. Winthrop, who took control of the field midway through the second round, fell back to third and is eight strokes behind CCU at (593).
Coastal Carolina, which has four golfers inside the top 10, dropped to third at one point during the second round, but Sebastian Soderberg, Andrew Dorn, Ben Wheeler and Ballesteros combined to play the last six holes at 3-under par, including eight birdies, to push the Chants into first.
The round of the day was turned in by Ballesteros, whose 68 was three shots better than the next closest competitor. After a first round 82, the junior was tied for 41st in the 46-player field. However, playing an event he has placed no lower than 11th in two previous occasions, Ballesteros rocketed up the field with his round of 4-under par. His two-round total of 6-over 160 puts him in a tie for ninth.
Roberto, who had seven birdies in the second round, started the day with going birdie, bogey, birdie and bogey to be at even par through four holes. Birdies on holes seven and eight got him to 2-under at the turn. He would birdie 12, but posted bogey on the par 3, 15th hole. However, Ballesteros finished strong with birdies on holes 17 and 18 for his 4-under 68, marking his second-best career round and best at the Big South Championship.
Soderberg turned in a 1-over par 73 Monday, but the senior remains in second place and one stroke off the lead with a two-day total of even par 144 (70-74). Winthrop's Cameron Bell leads the individual race with a 1-under 143 after shooting 71 Monday.
Soderberg, who is ranked 38th in the nation, had bogeys on the second and third holes but got back to even par with back-to-back birdies on holes seven and eight. The senior would again suffer a pair of bogeys on holes 11 and 12, but finished his round with a birdie and five pars for his 1-over 73.
Dorn and Wheeler are both tied for seventh, each posting 36-hole scores of 4-over par 148. Dorn, who started the day in 11th with an opening round 75, turned in a 1-over 73 Monday. While he suffered a double bogey on the par 3 fourth hole, the sophomore eagled the par 5 eighth to make the turn at even par. Like Soderberg, Dorn had back-to-back bogeys early on the inward nine, but finished his round with six pars and a birdie on the par 4 16th hole.
Wheeler was the opposite of Dorn, shooting 73 in the opening round and 75 Monday. While he made four birdies Monday, a pair of double bogeys kept the sophomore from moving up, remaining in a tie for fifth after 36 holes.
Peter Valasek also improved on his first day scoring to move up three spots into a tie for 21st. The sophomore has a two-day score of 9-over 153 (77-76).
The final round of the 2013 Big South Championships will be held Tuesday, April 23.