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Flames Claim Third BSC Men's Golf Title in Four Years

April 23, 2014  Ninety Six, S.C.  RSS
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No. 1 seed Liberty fired its best round of the championship on Wednesday and fended off No. 5 seed Charleston Southern to claim the program's third Big South Men's Golf Championship in the last four years.

The Flames fired a four-under par 284 and finished five shots clear of the Buccaneers, who carded the tournament's best 18-hole team total today with a five-under par 283.

Liberty posted an overall winning score of three-over par 867 (290-293-284) to finish five shots ahead of Charleston Southern's eight-over par 872 (286-303-283).

With the victory, the Flames have claimed the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, which will be contested at one of six locations around the country May 16-18. The NCAA Regional fields will be announced on the Golf Channel on May 5 at 10 a.m.

Coastal Carolina, the defending conference champions and 14-time winner of this event, took third place with a 14-over par 878 (285-303-290).

Charleston Southern pushed the Flames all day long thanks in part to the strong play of No. 5 golfer Austin James. The freshman had seven birdies and 11 pars on the day, carding a tournament-best, 18-hole total seven-under par 65.

Coastal Carolina's Ben Wheeler was able to distance himself from a pack of four or five players with bogey-free golf to claim individual medalist honors. The junior finished the day with a three-under par 69 and an overall score of five-under par 211 (70-72-69).

Liberty, who had the individual medalist at the last four Big South Championships, won this year's title thanks to a total team effort.

The Flames had three out of five golfers finish in the top eight of the event and Liberty's final golfer in the field carded one of four one-under par 71 during the final round to seal the team's championship run.

Chase Marinell, who was named the Big South Men's Golfer of the Year after the conclusion of the championship, finished in fourth place overall with a one-under par 215 (71-73-71).

The senior made a run at individual medalist honors early during his final round. He birdied three out of his first five holes on the day to share the overall lead with five other players.

However, two short missed putts at No. 7 (par 3, 148 yards) and No. 8 (par 4, 527 yards) cost Marinell two much-needed strokes. He then three-putted the par-4, No. 9 hole (441 yards) to fall out of contention for the individual medalist honors.

However, Marinell's effort on the back nine helped the team capture the conference crown at The Patriot Golf Club (par 72, 7,120 yard).

Marinell dropped in a 20-foot putt from the edge of the green at No. 14 (par 4, 443 yards), while Charleston Southern's top golfer, David Denlinger, had trouble off the tee and bogeyed the hole.

Three holes later, Marinell and Denlinger had similar putts from the edge of the green at the par-3, No. 17 hole (211 yards). Marinell snaked his in from 30 feet, while Denlinger three-putted from the same distance. The pair of two-stroke swings helped Liberty secure the overall win.

Mathieu Fenasse, last year's Big South individual medalist, finished in sixth place with a one-over par 217 (74-72-71). The junior offset a pair of bogeys on the day with three birdies to record his sixth round at par or better in nine career championship rounds.

Jacob Mast, in his second career start for the Flames, finished in eighth place with a four-over par 220 (76-73-71). The senior tied his low round of the year on Wednesday with a one-under par 71 thanks to back-to-back on the par 4 No. 9 and No. 10 holes.

Liberty's final one-under par round on Wednesday came from Ian McConnell, who overall finished tied for 23rd place with a 10-over par 226 (73-82-71).

The senior rebounded after a tough day at the course yesterday, closing his last career conference championship event with a birdie at the par-5, No. 18 hole (554 yards) to post his first-ever career sub-par round at a Big South event.

Liberty's last golfer in the field was Niklas Lindstrom who finished tied for 15th overall with a seven-over par 223 (72-75-76). The senior was inside the top 10 before he bogeyed four holes over a seven-hole stretch during the back nine.

Following the conclusion of the event, Liberty was awarded its 2014 Big South Men's Golf Championship trophy during the award ceremony.

Additionally, Liberty had three players named to the all-conference team (Fenasse, Lindstrom and Marinell) and Marinell was named to the all-championship team.

McConnell was named the Big South Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year, becoming the sixth player in program history to receive the honor.

Marinell becomes the third golfer in program history to be named Big South Men's Golfer of the Year (Yong Joo in 2000 and Robert Karlsson in 2010 and 2011).

2014 Big South All-Conference Team
Chase Marinell, Liberty
Niklas Lindstrom, Liberty
Mathieu Fenasse, Liberty

Andrew Dorn, Coastal Carolina
Ben Wheeler, Coastal Carolina
Zach Seabolt, Winthrop
Davis Parker, Presbyterian College
Ross Thomson, Charleston Southern
Taylor Dickson, Winthrop
Tanner Carbaugh, Radford

2014 Big South All-Freshmen Team
Zach Seabolt, Winthrop
Craig Hornberger, Campbell
Olle Widegren, Coastal Carolina
Nick Brediger, Radford
Blake Maum, Gardner-Webb

2014 Big South Men's Golf All-Championship Team
Ben Wheeler, Coastal Carolina
Gaston Bertinotti, Campbell
David Denlinger, Charleston Southern
Chase Marinell, Liberty
Tanner Carbaugh, Radford

2014 Big South Men's Golf Academic Team
Mikko Lehtovuori, So., Campbell
David Denlinger, Gr., Charleston Southern
Ben Wheeler, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Matt Yelverton, Jr., Gardner-Webb
LJ Georgetti, Jr., High Point
Ian McConnell, Sr., Liberty
Kyle Bodin, Sr., Longwood
Colt Crymes, Sr., Presbyterian College
Tanner Carbaugh, Jr., Radford
Nick Eberhardt, Soph., Winthrop

Golfer of the Year
Chase Marinell, Sr., Liberty

Freshman of the Year
Zach Seabolt, Winthrop

Coach of the Year
Michael Grant, Radford

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Ian McConnell, Sr., Liberty

Liberty Head Men's Golf Coach Jeff Thomas:

Liberty Senior Chase Marinell:

Big South Men's Golf Championship Photo Gallery: