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Fenasse's Career Round Gives Liberty Fourth Straight BSC Men's Golf Medalist

April 23, 2013
|  Ninety Six, S.C.
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Mathieu Fenasse claimed the 2013 Big South Men's Golf medalist honor, winning the championship by three strokes.

Mathieu Fenasse carded eight birdies and overcame Big South Men's Golfer of the Year Sebastian Soderberg to individually win the Big South Men's Golf Championship on Tuesday.

After opening with a bogey on the first hole and a second over-par score on the par-3, No. 7, the sophomore had eight birdies to win the individual title by three strokes over Soderberg, who was awarded the league's top individual season honor after the championship.

As a team, Liberty had its quest for a third-straight Big South Men's Golf Championship title come up two shots short. Coastal Carolina withstood a late charge from the Flames to claim their 14th overall conference men's golf title.

The Chanticleers posted a team score of 17-over par 881 (296-289-296) on the par-72, 7,120-yard Patriot Golf Club, the site of the last seven Big South Men's Golf Championships.

Liberty, who closed with the second best 18-hole total on Tuesday, finished in second place with a 19-over par 883 (294-294-295).

Winthrop claimed third place with a 27-over par 891 (299-294-298), followed by Radford, who took fourth place with a 42-over par 906 (304-306-296).

Fenasse's overall winning score was a five-under par 211 (75-70-66), marking a new career low 54-hole total for the sophomore.

Fenasse follows Liberty's previous conference medalists, as Robert Karlsson won in 2010 and 2012, while Preston Dembowiak claimed the individual title in 2011.

Soderberg was the only other golfer in the 50-man field to finish in red figures, carding a two-under par 214 (71-73-70).

Charleston Southern's Ross Thomson claimed third place with a two-over par 218 (76-74-68) following the second-best individual round on Tuesday.

Fenasse had a tough start, as the sophomore found the left front bunker and could not get up and down for par on the opening hole.

The sophomore started to showcase his strong iron play, a benchmark of his championship run, at the par-3, No. 4 hole with a mid-iron to within four feet that would lead to birdie. He followed with a chip-up and birdie at the par-5, No. 5 to get into red figures for the first time on the day.

Fenasse left his tee shot at the par-3, No. 7 hole short and put his putt up 12 feet past the hole to lead to a bogey and level his overall score out on the day.

However, the sophomore played near flawless golf during the 11 holes en route to his individual title. He birdied the next three holes to get to three-under just after making the turn.

After sinking a 15-foot putt for birdie at the par-4, No. 14 hole, Fenasse was short once again on a par-3 tee shot at No. 15. He was able to get up-and-down this time at the lengthy hole (205 yards) after a testy five-foot par putt.

The hole proved to be pivotal in Fenasse's quest for the individual title, as Soderberg had a similar shot at the par-3 hole, which he would bogey. The swing on the hole gave Fenasse the lead for good down the stretch.

Fenasse closed with birdies on No. 16 and 18 thanks to two additional solid iron shots that led to birdie putts of less than five feet each.

With his individual medalist honors, Fenasse has secured an individual automatic bid to the NCAA Men's Golf Regional, May 16-18.

Liberty, currently ranked No. 39 in the country by Golfstat, will have to wait to see if the team will be given an at-large bid to the postseason event. The NCAA will announce the team and individual field on May 6 with a webcast on NCAA.com at 9 p.m. (EST).

Max McKay, who was named to the all-tournament team and the conference's Scholar-Athlete of the Year, finished tied for fourth place with a five-over par 221 (70-74-77).

McKay, the opening day overall leader, was one-over through 14 holes, but started a tough three-hole stretch with a bogey at No. 15 after finding the bunker right.

The senior then lost a ball left off the tee at the par-4, No. 16 (No. 1 handicap) hole and eventually carded a triple bogey. He was able to erase a bogey at No. 17 with a birdie at No. 18 to claim his seventh career top five finish.

Losing two balls right off the tee at No. 1 was a difficult start to the day for Chase Marinell, Liberty's No. 1 golfer coming into the championship and an all-conference golfer.

The junior would post an opening quadruple bogey and stood seven over after four holes of play. He played one-under par golf the rest of the way and finished the championship tied for ninth place with a nine-over par 225 (72-75-78).

Liberty's final two golfers at the championship posted matching scores during the second and third rounds of the event.

Ian McConnell finished tied for 17th place with a 12-over par 228 (77-75-76) and Niklas Lindstrom finished tied for 35th place with 17-over par 233 (82-75-76).

During the final round, McConnell was only able to find one birdie on the par-5, No. 13 hole to go along with bogeys on No. 8, 11 and 15 and double bogey on No. 3.

Lindstrom, who was named to the all-conference team, struggled out of the gates, carding a double bogey on the opening hole, followed by bogeys on No. 2 and 3. During his remaining 15 holes of play, the junior was able to card three birdies, including one on the closing No. 18 hole.
Big South All-Conference Team                                                                         
Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina
Chase Marinell, Liberty
Kamito Hirai, Winthrop
Weston Eklund, Radford
Niklas Lindstrom, Liberty
Mathieu Fenasse, Liberty

Chase Wilson, High Point
Andrew Dorn, Coastal Carolina
Ross Thomson, Charleston Southern
Daniel Kim, Gardner-Webb

Big South All-Freshman Team
McKay Tye, High Point
Davis Parker, Presbyterian College
Nick Eberhardt, Winthrop
Conner Hayden, Radford

Big South All-Academic Team
Grant Houser, So., Campbell
C.J. Liner, Jr., Charleston Southern
Sebastian Soderberg, Sr., Coastal Carolina
Matt Yelverton, So., Gardner-Webb
Chase Wilson, Sr., High Point
Max McKay, Sr., Liberty
Kyle Bodin, Jr., Longwood
Colt Crymes, Jr., Presbyterian College
Tanner Carbaugh, Jr., Radford

Big South All-Championship Team
Mathieu Fenasse, Liberty
Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina
Ross Thomson, Charleston Southern
Andrew Dorn, Coastal Carolina
Max McKay, Liberty

Golfer of the Year
Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina

Freshman of the Year
Conner Hayden, Radford

Coach of the Year
Kevin Pendley, Winthrop

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Max McKay, Sr., Liberty