Here is a recap of the 2017 CAA Championship, which concluded Sunday at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian, Va.:
TEAM CHAMPION: College of Charleston (23-under 841). The Cougars are still in charge. The team fired a closing 4-under 284 to up its lead from six to 13. This is the College of Charleston’s fourth straight conference title. Inclement weather stopped play from being completed Saturday, as the final 36 holes were expected to be played that day in order to avoid impending Sunday bad weather. But the action did indeed get completed Sunday. Charleston played its first nine (the back nine) of the final round in 10 over among its eventual counting scorers but took advantage of the front nine, as the group blasted that easier set of holes in 14 under. The No. 58 Cougars now await their NCAA Regionals spot.
INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION: Parker Derby, College of Charleston (8-under 208). This makes it three straight years the Cougars boast the individual conference champion as well. Derby fires a closing 72, and even though his lead shrinks from two to one, that still means victory. Derby, a senior of Columbus, Ga., bogeyed 15, 16 and 18 to fall back to 5 under. North Carolina-Wilmington’s Reese McFarlane was at that same score with nine to play. McFarlane birdied Nos. 1 and 3 while Derby birdied Nos. 2 and 8, making the pair tied coming to the closing par-4 ninth. Derby knocked a pitching wedge to some 15 feet and drained the birdie putt to take the title by a shot. After opening the week in 66, Derby led this tournament wire-to-wire. The University of Georgia transfer earned his first victory in his two seasons with the Cougars thanks to this triumph.
QUOTABLE: “I’m so proud of this team. … My team played like champions. We had 14 birdies and no bogeys in the last nine holes of the championship. That is flat out getting it done.” – College of Charleston Head Coach Mark McEntire
CHIP SHOTS: William Rainey, the defending conference champion, placed T-4 at 5 under. He was one of three Cougars in the top 5 alongside Derby and Michael Sass (T-4, 5 under). … North Carolina-Wilmington actually moved up two spots to solo second in the final round with a closing 288 (finishing the week 10 under). Towson and James Madison, meanwhile, each dropped a spot, as Towson closed in 293 to place third at 8 under and James Madison finished with 296 to place fourth at 4 under. … Spencer Alexander (third, 6 under) was Towson’s highest finisher. … William and Mary’s Davis Morrison and Hofstra’s Sean Cavanaugh tied for the best final round with 3-under 69. Morrison jumped 16 spots to T-9 at 1 under while Cavanaugh moved up 13 spots to T-23 at 3 over. … With James Madison ranked 68th, North Carolina-Wilmington coming in at No. 79 and the magic number projected in the mid-50s, it’s almost certain the CAA will not get any at-large bids for regionals.