Coastal Carolina Surges to Finish 6th at Kiawah
KIAWAH ISLAND - Coastal Carolina turned in the best round of the day, carding a 7-under par 281, and moved up three spots to finish sixth with a score of 898 (318-299-281) at the East Bay Deli Classic at Kiawah, played at the par 72, 6,911-yard Turtle Point Golf Course.
The Chanticleers were led by Luis Ruiz and Morgan Deneen Tuesday as each rocketed up the leaderboard to tie for eighth with a score of 222. Ruiz, who posted a 4-under par 68, jumped 22 spots and finished eighth to record his second top-10 of the season as well as his third career top-10. Deneen, who is in first season with the team, shot a 5-under 67 and moved 24 spots for his first top-10 finish.
Playing in its final event of the fall, Coastal was one of two teams that shot below par in the final round Tuesday as runner-up Jacksonville State posted a 5-under 283. Tennessee won the 15-team event as the #26 Volunteers had a 54-hole score of 873, eight shots clear of the Gamecocks (881).
"Overall, this week is going to leave a bad taste in our mouths," said first year head coach Jim Garren. "If we want to get where we want to be as a program nationally, we cannot afford to have the letdown we experienced the first two days. I will take responsibility as it is my job to have them prepared to play.
"On the flip side, I could not be more proud of this group than I am today," Garren added." They took it upon themselves to have a player's only meeting last night and give some heart-to-heart to each other. We put a big-time round together today. Having the low round of the day is always good and it is great to see it in a final round. In many ways this was the worst week of the season but we ended the fall schedule with our best day of the season. Morgan and Luis came through with super rounds today and allowed them to be in the top 10. Jonathan (Goth-Rasmussen) put together a solid round and States (Fort) fought hard after the first hole."
Coastal Carolina led the field in eagles with three and in par-3 scoring by nine strokes. With its round of 281 Tuesday, Coastal shot par or better as a team in 10 of its 12 rounds. The CCU record for shooting par or better for a season is 16 rounds, set by the 2006-07 team.
Ruiz opened the event with a 78, shaved two strokes off that in the second before shooting his 68 Tuesday to tie for eighth with a 54-hole score of 222. He started his final round Tuesday on the par-3, 8th hole with a birdie and got to 3-under after birdies on holes 12 and 16. After an eagle on the 2nd hole, he dropped shots with bogeys on holes 4 and 5. However, he rallied to birdie his final hole for his 4-under 68. Ruiz shot par of better in eight of his 12 rounds this fall.
Deneen, who tied for the tournament lead with 14 birdies over 54 holes, was on pace to shoot his second 66 of the season before dropping a shot on his final hole to settle for his 5-under 67. Deneen birdied his second hole before getting a bogey on his third. He then birdied five of his next 10 holes. After a bogey on his 15th hole, he had birdies on the next two holes to get to 6-uder for the day. However, he would par his 17th hole and bogey the last for his 67 and 54-hole total of 222 (82-73-67).
Andrew Roy had the third-most birdies with 12 for the event. He finished in a tie for 29th with a score of 228 (77-73-78).
Jonathan Goth-Rasmussen was also a big mover on Tuesday, climbing 14 spots to tie for 41st. The freshman carded a 71 Tuesday thanks to 15 pars, two birdies and a bogey. Goth-Rasmussen and States Fort had a total of 31 pars to lead the Chants and rank 18th in the 93-person field. Goth-Rasmussen also tied for second by playing the par-3's at 2-under par over the three days.
Fort opened his final round with a triple bogey on the par-5, 10th hole. However, he off-set two bogeys with two birdies while carding 13 pars to shoot a 3-over 75. Fort tied for 58th with a total of 235 (83-77-75).
Thadd Obecny II, who entered the event as the No. 97-ranked collegiate golfer, tied for 69th with a total of 240 (81-80-79).
The Chants will not play again until starting the spring season Feb. 17-18 at the Suntrust Gator Invitational in Gainesville, Fla., at the University of Florida's Mark Bostic Golf Club.