Coastal Georgia tops in NAIA

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College of Coastal Georgia won its first NAIA Men’s Championship May 16 in its very first national championship.

The Mariners overcame a six-shot deficit behind a final-round 4-under 284 on the LPGA International’s Jones Course in Daytona Beach, Fla. Coastal Georgia finished at 1-over 865, four shots better than two-time defending champion and nine-time champion Oklahoma City. The tournament was reduced to 54 holes due to rain.

Coastal Georgia is the 30th different team to claim a NAIA national title in the 63-year history. Coastal Georgia has been an NAIA school for only two years after two years at the NJCAA level.

“This is huge for us,” said Mike Cook, Coastal Georgia head coach. “To win our first-ever NAIA title really means a lot. We’ve got two seniors (Dylan Freeman and Chase Miller) that played a key role in this team.”

Coastal Georgia was led by Allen Bradford, who finished fourth.

Oklahoma City’s James Marchesani won the individual title with a one-hole playoff victory over Grand View’s Jay Monahan. Marchesani birdied the final hole to finish at 5-under 211. He then made a 3-foot birdie to win the medal.

“We come here as a team and win as a team, unfortunately it didn’t go that way this week,” Marchesani said. “However, winning the individual medal feels pretty nice. I had a big year, which makes it pretty special.”

Marchesani is the fifth Oklahoma City player to win the individual championship.

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