James' 65 leads Bucs to runner-up finish at Big South Championships; Denlinger finishes 2nd

James' 65 leads Bucs to runner-up finish at Big South Championships; Denlinger finishes 2nd

NINETY-SIX, S.C. - Charleston Southern's Austin James shot the third-lowest round in Big South Championship history, a 7-under 65, to carry the Buccaneers to a runner-up finish at the 2014 Big South Men's Golf Championship at The Patriot at Grand Harbor. 

Despite shooting 5-under in the final round (283) as a team, the sixth-lowest team round in school history, the Bucs couldn't make up enough ground on champion Liberty, which won by five strokes. CSU showed it was better than its No. 5 seed entering the tournament, but Bucs head coach Mike Wilson had mixed emotions following his team's round, feeling his team had their chance to win. 

"It's bittersweet," Wilson said on the 18th green. "The guys fought hard today. We were right there all day, but could never get any closer than four. Liberty played really well and made it tough on anyone to make up ground. The back nine (on Tuesday) really hurt , but I'm proud of our guys." 

Senior David Denlinger finished a stellar career in tying for second with a total of 314 (-2) and earned All-Tournament honors. He shot a 75 and had three birdies in the middle of his round to overcome a slow start, but made two late bogeys. He was also named to the All-Academic Team at the awards ceremony. He has already graduated from CSU and is working on his M.B.A. with a near 4.0 GPA.

Fellow senior Ross Thomson closed out his career tying for 11th and was named to the Big South's All-Conference Team for the fourth time in his career. Thomson finished tied for 11th with an even-par 72. He had two birdies to erase two early bogeys, but couldn't get any putts to fall late. 

"I couldn't ask for two better student-athletes," Wilson said of his two seniors. "They've been spectacular. Ross is a four-time all-conference player and Denlinger has played in the NCAAs as an individual and was a putt or two away from winning this week. They were in my first recruiting class and I'm very proud to have had them as players."
James had seven birdies in his round and showed the potential that twice earned him Big South Freshman of the Week honors during the season. He birdied No. 14, 16, and 18 on the back nine to rocket up the leaderboard late, and got up-and-down out of a greenside bunker on the par-3 15th to play a bogey-free round. He tied for ninth to give the Bucs two Top 10 finishes.
"I didn't think he would shoot 65, but I knew he had the firepower to go low," Wilson said of James. "I was going to watch him more today,  but he started with three birdies in six holes, so I thought I'd let him keep rolling. What a confidence boost that round should be for his offseason and sophomore year."
James ties Jacabo Pastor and Jason Moyer as the only two other Bucs to shoot 65 in a round. He also becomes only the third player to shoot 7-under or better in a round. Stuart Carrahill's 64 at the Frank Landry Invite in 2007 still stands as the lowest round in school history.
Junior Will Pieper shot a 74 (+4) with two birdies to tie Thomson for 11th. His strong finish to the season, including nearly a Top 10 this week at The Patriot, has been the best stretch of his career at CSU.
Fellow junior Jarrett Swan also shot a 72 (E). He had five birdies in his round and tied for 18th. All five Bucs finished in the Top 20 at the event and four were in the Top 11. 
Coastal Carolina junior Ben Wheeler posted a 3-under 69 to win Medalist honors with a 5-under 211.
The final team standings saw Liberty at 867, followed by Charleston Southern at 872, whileCoastal Carolina dropped to third at 878, and Radford finished fourth with an 887.  Campbellmoved up to finish fifth with its 894, just ahead of Winthrop's 898.  Presbyterian College fell to seventh with a 900, with Gardner-Webb (909), Longwood (943) and High Point (953) rounding out the leaderboard.
Earning All-Championship Team honors were Wheeler, Gaston Bertinotti of Campbell, Denlinger, Liberty's Chase Marinell and Radford's Tanner Carbaugh.  Wheeler, who is Coastal Carolina's first Big South Medalist since Zack Byrd in 2009, earns an automatic individual bid to the NCAA Regionals.
In addition, the Big South announced its Men's Golf annual award winners on Wednesday afternoon.  The awards were voted on by the head coaches following the Championship and are based on regular-season and Championship performance.  Marinell was voted Golfer of the Year while Winthrop's Zach Seabolt was voted Freshman of the Year.  Radford head coach Michael Grant was voted Coach of the Year, and Liberty's Ian McConnell was voted Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Big South's Sports Information Directors. 

2014 Big South Golf Awards

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

All-Freshman Team
Zach Seabolt, Winthrop

Craig Hornberger, Campbell

Olle Widegren, Coastal Carolina

Nick Brediger, Radford

Blake Maum, Gardner-Webb


All-Championship Team

Ben Wheeler, Coastal Carolina

Gaston Bertinotti, Campbell

David Denlinger, Charleston Southern 

Chase Marinell, Liberty

Tanner Carbaugh, Radford


All-Academic Team

Mikko Lehtovuori, Soph., 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


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