A Big South-record five men's golfers -- Gardner-Webb teammates Kristopher Gray and Daniel Kim, Coastal Carolina teammates Sebastian Soderberg and Charlie Winegardner, and Campbell's Mitch Gray -- were named to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar team that was announced late last week.
The five were among the 146 players selected from NCAA Division I programs. To be eligible, student-athletes must be a junior or senior academically, compete in at least three full years at the collegiate level, participate in 70 percent of his team's competitive rounds and have a stroke average under 76.0 for the season. In the classroom, candidates must maintain a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 and be in good standing at the college or university.
Kristopher Gray finished his career at Gardner-Webb in 2012, earning All-Big South honors and a spot on the Big South's All-Academic Team. Gray carded a season-low 67 three times in 2012 and was named the League's Men's Golfer of the Week three times.
Kim wrapped up an outstanding junior season by earning All-Big South honors in 2012 - finishing second at the Conference Championship at the Patriot Golf Club. During that event, he carded a low round of 63, tying the Big South Championship and course record on that day. Kim registered seven rounds in the 60s for the season and was the teams' medalist at four different events in 2012.
Soderberg, a rising senior, is a two-time All-Region selection, a three-time All-Big South honoree and a two-time Academic All-Big South pick. The Ojersjo, Sweden native carries a cumulative GPA of 3.209 in exercise science. Soderberg won the Furman Intercollegiate, placed fourth at the 2012 Big South Championship and earned an at-large berth to the 2012 NCAA Athens Regional, where he placed 14th. He led Coastal this past season with a 72.75 scoring average, which ranks ninth-best on the CCU single-season list, with nearly half his rounds coming in at par or better. For his career, Soderberg has a 73.88 scoring average to rank seventh in school history with 16 top 20 finishes in 35 career events.
Winegardner, who completed his eligibility this past spring and will serve as a student assistant in 2012-13, was named All-Big South in 2010 and just missed a second All-Conference honor this season as he finished ninth at the league's championships. The Lothian, Md., product has a 3.328 cumulative GPA in exercise science and is a three-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll honoree, posting at least a 3.0 GPA for the 2009-10, 2010-11 and 2011-12 academic years. Winegardner closed his collegiate career in impressive fashion, averaging 72.2 strokes over his final 13 rounds with eight rounds of par or better. For the year, he ranked second on the team with a 74.45 scoring average. He played in 32 career events and averaged 75.28 strokes over his 95 career rounds. He turned in 20 rounds of par or better with three career top 10 finishes and seven career top 20 finishes.
Soderberg and Winegardner become the fifth and sixth Chanticleers to earn the prestigious honor, joining Matthew "Gus" Pick (1988), Zack Byrd (2007 and '09), Lindsay Renolds (2007 and '08) and Cameron Hooper (2009).
Mitch Gray earned Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar honors for the second-straight campaign. Named the 2012 Big South Conference Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year in a vote of League sports information directors, Gray graduated Magna Cum Laude in May with a 3.75 grade-point average as a business administration major. A native of Florence, S.C., Gray participated in all 29 rounds for the Camels in 2011-12, and produced a pair of top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place tie at the Golfweek Program Challenge.
He finished his senior season with a 73.4 stroke average, 12th-lowest in the Conference, while producing four top-20 individual finishes. Gray tied for 12th at the Big South Conference championship (74-69-74-217) and was named to the Big South All-Academic team as well as to the Big South Conference presidential honor roll.
Longwood, which joined the Big South on July 1, placed a pair of golfers on the team as well -- Austin Gray and Kenny Leech.