Montgomery, Ala. – The College of Coastal Georgia men's golf team finished as the runner-up Wednesday in the SSAC Men's Golf Championship at the Arrowhead Country Club.
Shooting a 1-under-par 283 score in the final round, the No. 17 Mariners finished at 9-over 861 for the tournament. Coastal Georgia shot scores of 292 and 286 in the first two rounds on Monday and Tuesday. The Mariners were third after the first round, but moved into second after Tuesday's second round.
"Our guys played well today," said Coastal Georgia coach Mike Cook after the final round.
The Mariners were also second last year in the conference tournament and have now finished second three times in five tournament appearances. They were third in the 2013 and 2015 league tournaments.
Of course, this was the team's final chance to win an SSAC title as Coastal Georgia will switch to the Sun Conference next season.
Dalton State ran away from the field for its third consecutive SSAC crown with its 23-under 829 team total. The No. 3 Roadrunners shot 278-278-273 over the three rounds to win by 32 strokes.
"They beat all of us pretty soundly," Cook said. "We finished a strong second. We made the turn at 6-under today, I think, but threw shots away on the back. That has plagued us all year."
Faulkner wound up in third place at 875 after shooting 296 in the final round. The Eagles were also third after the first 36 holes, but trailed the Mariners by only a stroke going into Wednesday's closing 18.
Mobile finished fourth at 877 and William Carey rounded out the top five at 880.
Arrowhead, a par-71 layout, played 6,764 yards for this week's event.
Dalton State ended up sweeping the titles as S.M. Lee took home the individual title with a 7-under 206 score. Lee shot under par all three rounds with scores of 68, 70 and 68 finished two strokes ahead of teammate P.J. Fields who finished at 5-under 208. Fields had a three-shot advantage over Lee going into the final round, but shot 73 on Wednesday to settle for the runner-up spot.
Dalton State's Chase Cole finished third at 4-under 209 to give the Roadrunners the top three spots in the individual standings.
Coastal Georgia's Paxton Shuman finished fourth overall after posting his third-straight 70 on Wednesday, leaving him at 3-under 210 for the championship. With his fourth-place finish, the Coastal Georgia senior made the all-tournament team. Shuman and Dalton State's Lee were the only players to shoot under par in all three rounds.
"He had a great tournament again," Cook said of Shuman.
Also for the Mariners, Lauri Hacklin and Seth Sanders both recorded a top-10 finish. Hacklin tied for seventh overall, finishing at 4-over 217 with scores of 76-69-72. Sanders finished tied for 10th at 5-over 218 as he posted scores of 74-72-72.
Coastal Georgia's Taylor Guilbeau just missed a top-10 finish as he tied for 13th at 219 with rounds of 73-77-69.
Coastal Georgia's Harrison Stafford finished 22nd at 223 with scores of 75-75-73.
"Lauri had a good championship and Seth did as well. Guilbeau shot 69 today and Harrison played better today as well," Cook said. "Our seniors went out on a good note. Shuman, Sanders and Guilbeau have brought strong leadership throughout the season and I appreciate their effort."
With Dalton State getting the league's automatic bid to the national tournament, the Mariners will now wait to see if they get an at-large invitation to the NAIA national championship which is set for May 16-19 at TPC Deere Run in Moline, Ill., where the championship was also played last year.
Of course, the Mariners have qualified for the national tournament each of the last three years, winning back-to-back national titles in 2014 and 2015 before finishing 11th last spring.