CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern goes after an NCAA Regional berth this weekend at the Big South Conference Championship at The Patriot at Grand Harbor in Ninety-Six, S.C. Play spans Friday through Sunday, with the winner earning the league's automatic bid to the postseason.
Field (Seed/Golfstat Ranking): No. 1 Liberty (48), No. 2 Campbell (71), No. 3 Gardner-Webb (119), No.4 Charleston Southern (152), No. 5 Winthrop (156), No. 6 Radford (170), No. 7 Longwood (187), No. 8 High Point (215), No. 9 Presbyterian (220)
Course: The Patriot at Grand Harbor – Ninety-Six, S.C. – Par 72 – 7,120 yards
Live Scoring: www.Golfstat.com
Tee Times: Friday's First Round – 8:00-10:20 a.m. (CSU tees off between 8:50 & 9:30)
Saturday's Second Round – 8:00-10:20 a.m. (Tee times dependent on leaderboard)
Sunday's Final Round – 8:00-9:30 a.m. (Tee times dependent on leaderboard)
Recent CSU results in Big South Championship (All held at The Patriot)
2016: 3rd as team (James 1st; Ezell T-23rd)
2015: 1st as team (Ezell T-18th; James T-21st)
2014: 2nd as team (James T-9th)
CSU is seeking its fourth consecutive top-three finish, an accomplishment that would cap an up-and-down season on a high note. The Bucs are seeded fourth but know they are capable of making a run this weekend.
If CSU finds itself in contention, senior Austin James figures to be a big reason why. James, the reigning Big South Player of the Year, is the tournament's defending champion. He played his best golf of a stellar campaign last April at The Patriot, stringing together three straight rounds in the 60's to run away from the field at 11-under par. James's total is the second-best mark in championship history.
The Patriot has set up well for James. He fired a final round 65 as a freshman in 2014 to surge into a tie for ninth, and carded a 71 as part of CSU's closing round charge to the title in 2015. James has not been at his best this year but is coming off a strong outing ten days ago at the Koch Invitational. He shot a final round 70 to finish his 54 holes at one-under par and in a tie for 17th place.
Jacques Wilson is in the No. 2 spot in Director of Golf Todd Selders' lineup. Wilson has perhaps been CSU's most consistent player this year. He also enters off a T-17th finish at the Koch Invitational. The Kansas transfer will be making his first appearance in the Big South Championship.
Redshirt junior Jake Ezell, who will forego his final season of eligibility, will play in his final league championship. Ezell has been an integral part of CSU's back-to-back regional appearances. He finished T-18th two years ago to help the Bucs claim the league crown.
Art Griffin and Derrick Villarreal round out CSU's lineup. Griffin, a Lafayette transfer, was runner-up at last year's Patriot League Championship. Villarreal will also be making his first start in the Big South Championship.