WILLIAMSBURG, VA. - Not only did the Coastal Carolina men's golf team become the first in Big South Conference history to qualify for the final round of the NCAA Men's Golf Championships, the team is in a battle for the National Title, sitting in second after three rounds at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va.
CCU shot its best round of the tournament in round three, playing the par-70 course in eight-under 272 to move up to second at 830, two shots behind leader Stanford and eight shots ahead of Charlotte and Alabama in third. The tournament field was cut from 30 to 15 after the third round, with Coastal making its first-ever final round field, while Oklahoma State and Florida State earned the last two spots after a three-team playoff with Tennessee.
Senior Dustin Johnson leads the Chanticleers effort in a tie for fourth at five-under 205, but is just one shot behind the co-leaders at six-under. Junior Lindsay Renolds is next at a tie for 11th at three-under 207, while sophomore Cameron Hooper is also in the top 20 at a tie for 20th at even-par 210. Three CCU players were under par on Friday's round, as Zack Byrd and Hooper each posted three-under 67s, while Renolds had a two-under 68.
The Chants will start on the No. 1 tee at 9:21 a.m., playing with Stanford and Charlotte in the final round.
Coastal Carolina Coach Allen Terrell
We got off to one of those dream starts today played the first two holes three under which is something we talked about last night. It was an unbelievable start. I think we were 11-under through nine holes.
Stanfords a great team very resilient as most great teams are. They got off probably not to the start they were thinking about but they got right back into it. I think they had 3-4 birdies on the last hole.
We made a ton of birdies early but kind of hit the wall and then made a few here and there. It was just a great college sport day out there.
Were just going to have fun. Thats what we came here to do enjoy the moment, enjoy the experience and it just so happens were in the last group. Were just going to have fun within ourselves, worry about Coastal and enjoy tomorrow.
I think we just did a better job of executing out there today on 12-15. Conditions were pretty similar today. I think the gusts were a little stronger out there which on this golf course with the three pars more or less all downhill...downhill par threes are kind of hard, especially for good players. Youre flighting your ball above the trees and the wind kind of affects things a little bit more than may be normal. I think that might have made it a little more difficult. The rough is getting a little bit thicker is spots but I dont think it is unbearable at all. The course is in great shape.
(Best round of year?) I think when you combine the situation and the environment, shooting 8-under in the third round of the national championship would definitely rank that one right up there pretty high for us this year. Weve got a team thats not scared of 60s and I think they showed that today. Im just real proud of the guys. Dustin (Johnson) kind of struggled out there today but we had our best round. I think that gives the other guys some confidence. Any time a kid feels like he is contributing hes going to take a lot of ownership going into the final round. I really, really look forward to tomorrow.
To have five guys in the mix turning, I knew wed finish pretty well. The first two rounds we just didnt quite have five guys turning to the next nine. Today we had five guys right in it and thats obviously the big reason why we played better today.
(Tonight) I dont want them thinking about writing any history books tonight thats for sure. Were going to keep things as consistent as we can.