MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Charleston Southern senior Jacques Wilson carded a final round four-under par 67 to erase a four-stroke deficit and claim his first collegiate victory Tuesday at the Bash at the Beach. CSU posted the round of the day, a one-under 283, to nearly take the tournament title before falling to Newberry by one stroke at The Surf Golf and Beach Club.
Wilson, at -6 overall, tied Newberry's Carlos Leandro for the top spot in the 60-player field but won medalist honors through a scorecard playoff. Wilson birdied the course's number one handicap hole – the par-five first – in the final round, while Leandro parred it.
Sparked by Wilson and classmate Art Griffin, who finished tied for fourth place, CSU enjoyed a sizzling six-under par front nine to take the lead at the turn. Wilson, Griffin and redshirt junior Dylan Patscot (T-38th) were all -2 on the opening nine, while freshman Connor Moore went out at level par. The Bucs were still on top of the leaderboard late in the day before Newberry, the nation's 14th-ranked Division II team, rallied. The Wolves finished with a 54-hole tally of +1 853, while the Bucs compiled a +2 854.
Wilson, a transfer from Kansas in his second year at CSU, made a strong charge thanks to seven birdies. He drained four on the front nine and rebounded from bogeys at No.'s 8 and 9 with three more on the back side.
"I was four back coming into today and obviously I knew I had to get off to a hot start," Wilson said. "The wind really wasn't blowing yet (in the morning) and I knew the conditions were gonna get worse as the day went on so those first seven holes were huge. Everything felt pretty good and I putted really, really well. I've been changing some stuff with my putting and it's been nice to see that transition where instead of being kind of streaky with it, I've been consistent."
The rest of CSU's lineup turned in rounds of +2 or better on Tuesday. Griffin closed with an even-par 71, freshman Connor Moore (T-15th) recorded a 72 and Patscot and sophomore Elliot Gothe each notched 73's.
CSU head coach Jason Payne, in his first season, is optimistic about what his squad can do over the remainder of the spring.
"We did a good job of making pars and birdies and limiting bogeys which is a big takeaway," Payne said. "This was a course where you could make some birdies and obviously Jacques made a lot of them. For the second straight week, all of our guys played some really good golf. We're excited about continuing to improve as we move forward."
CSU will play its third event in as many weeks next Monday and Tuesday at the Southern Intercollegiate, hosted by the University of Georgia in Athens.