Coastal Carolina Men’s Golf Wins Sun Belt Golf Championship
MIRAMAR BEACH, Fla. – After winning the stroke play portion of the 2018 Sun Belt Men’s Golf Championship by 26 strokes the previous three days, Coastal Carolina continued its strong play Wednesday as it defeated South Alabama, 3-2, in the morning semifinal and turned around in the afternoon to defeat Georgia Southern, 4-1, in the final to be crowned Sun Belt Conference Champion at the Raven Golf Course at Sandestin.
First-year head coach Jim Garren earns the program’s first conference team title in its second year in the Sun Belt, its 15th overall conference championship and first since 2013. The Chanticleers also earn the league’s automatic bid to an NCAA Regional. Also, with the team win, Coastal completed the conference’s sweep as Morgan Deneen won the Sun Belt Individual Championship with a conference championship score of 203.
In the Championship match Wednesday afternoon, Thadd Obecny II gave Coastal a 1-0 lead after winning his match 6 & 4. The senior tied the first hole, won the second and never looked back as he either won or tied the next 12 holes. He closed out his match over Archer Price on the 14th hole.
Daniel Overas, who was the third match off in the championship, also cruised to a victory, beating Jacob Bayer 6 & 4. Not only did Overas win his match by the same score as did Obecny, but he did so in the same fashion. Overas and Bayer tied on the first hole, Overas won the second hole and he won going away. Overas was up one through eight holes then won holes 9, 10, 11, 13 and 14 to close out the match on the 14th hole.
The fourth match off in the final would clinch the title as States Fort defeated Luukas Alakulppi 4 & 3. The pair were all square through nine holes before Fort won holes 10, 11, 12 and 14 to go up four. He and his partner both had a par on the 15th hole, which secured the win.
The matches with Luis Ruiz, who was down one with one to play, and Morgan Deneen, who was up two with four to play, we conceded once Fort clinched the third and deciding point.
In the Wednesday morning semifinal match, Coastal defeated South Alabama 3-2. The match was over after Fort closed out Brooks Rabren, 3 & 1, after 17 holes and Fort leading by three strokes. Obecny, who was CCU’s first golfer on the course, won the final hole to defeat Jason Mendel two-up. CCU’s second point of the match came when Overas won the 16th hole to claim a 4 & 2 victory over Yannick Schuetz. Ruiz lost his match, 4 & 3, while Deneen conceded his match, down two with three to play, after the Chants secured their third point to wrap up the victory.
Also after the stroke play portion Tuesday, the Sun Belt handed out several academic awards. The Chanticleers were recognized for maintaining at least a 3.0 team GPA. Obecny and Fort earned the Sun Belt’s Commissioners Award for having at least a 3.5 GPA while Ruiz and Overas received the Sun Belt’s Honor Roll for having at least a 3.0 GPA.
The 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships selections announcement will take place next Wednesday (May 2) at 6 pm on Golf Channel, during Golf Central, and streamed live on the Golf Channel website. There are six NCAA Men’s Regional Championship sites, May 14-16 (13 teams and 10 individuals at three regionals and 14 teams and five individuals at three regionals). The six regional sites include will be played in Raleigh, N.C.; Bryan, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; Kissimmee, Fla.; Norman, Okla.; and Stockton, Calif.