Six Camels recognized by Big South in post-season men’s golf awards

Head Coach John Crooks and Jesper Svensson
(ScarboroughPhotography.com)
Head Coach John Crooks and Jesper Svensson (ScarboroughPhotography.com)

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Following a record-breaking performance at the Big South Conference men's golf championship, Campbell University's John Crooks was named league coach of the year and Jesper Svensson was named golfer of the year.

Big South runner-up Thomas La Morte joined Svensson on the all-championship team.  Ray Kraivixien accompanied Svensson on the all-conference unit while also being named to the all-academic team. Brett McLamb and Max Theodorakis represented the Camels on the Big South all-freshman team.

In winning last week's individual title at The Patriot Golf Club in Ninety Six, S.C., Svensson set Big South Championship records for lowest 54-hole score (202) and most strokes below par (-14), breaking the marks established by current World No.-1 Dustin Johnson (204, -12) of Coastal Carolina in 2007.  A sophomore from Balsta, Sweden, Svensson earned his fourth top-10 finish of the season – and third in the last four outings – while claiming his first collegiate win.

Svensson has logged a 71.93 stroke average over 29 rounds this season and has been Campbell's low individual five times in 10 tournaments.  He tied for runner-up honors at the Border Olympics, helping lead the Camels to a team title.  At the Big South Championship, Svensson posted school 36- (133) and 54-hole (67-66-69—202) records for conference tournament play.  He earned all-conference and all-championship team honors for the second-straight year.

Just four days after being named Big South women's coach of the year, Crooks added the men's coach of the year trophy to his shelf after guiding his team to a league 54-hole record (273-277-288—838) 26-under-par finish at The Patriot. The recognition marked Crooks' 19th coach of the year award and fifth on the men's side.  His team also captured the Old Dominion/OBX Collegiate last October as well as the Border Olympics and Big South titles this spring.  As a team, Campbell will compete in back-to-back NCAA Regional championships for the first time in the program's history.

Kraivixien was named to the all-conference team for the second-consecutive season after logging a 73.16 stroke average, 11th-lowest in the league, and five top-20 finishes.  The sophomore from Bangkok, Thailand tied for 16th at the Big South Championship and was also named to the league all-academic team after compiling a 3.69 grade-point average as a business administration major.

Only Svensson enjoyed a better Big South Championship than La Morte, a junior from Demarest, N.J. La Morte matched his best collegiate finish as runner-up and his eight-under-par 208 (67-79-72) total is third-lowest in school league tournament history.  He has posted a 72.61 stroke average over 28 rounds, ninth-best in the Big South.

In his inaugural conference tournament, McLamb tied for 11th at the Big South Championship (69-74-73—216). A red-shirt freshman from nearby Coats, N.C., McLamb has represented the team in six-straight events and logged a 74.15 stroke average, 19th-lowest in the league. His best finish came at the Border Olympics, where he shot a collegiate low 66 in the final round and tied for sixth overall.

Theodorakis joined McLamb on the Big South all-freshman team after ranking 12th in the conference in scoring average (73.24). A native of Danbury, Conn., Theodorakis has played in six events and registered three top-20 finishes, including an 11th-place showing at the Border Olympics.

The Camels will participate in one of six NCAA Regional tournaments, May 15-17.

2017 Big South Conference Men's Golf Award Winners

All-Conference Team                                                   
Jesper Svensson, Soph., Campbell
Mickey DeMorat, Jr., Liberty
Isaiah Logue, Jr., Liberty
Kieran Vincent, Fr., Liberty
Myles Creighton, Jr., Radford
Gabe Lench, Soph., Liberty
Vincent Blanchette, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Aaron Thomas, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Ray Kraivixien, Soph., Campbell
Chris Jones, R-Sr., Gardner-Webb

All-Freshman Team
Kieran Vincent, Fr., Liberty
Brett McLamb, Fr., Campbell
Brendan MacDougall, Fr., High Point
Max Theodorakis, Fr., Campbell
Steffen Smith, Fr. Gardner-Webb

All-Academic Team
Ray Kraivixien, Soph., Campbell
Jake Ezell, Jr., Charleston Southern
Vincent Blanchette, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Emile Menard, Jr., High Point
Mickey DeMorat, Jr., Liberty
Jordan Boulton, Soph., Longwood
Hayden Ploeger, Sr., Presbyterian
Myles Creighton, Jr., Radford
Bradley Kauffman, Sr., Winthrop

Golfer of the Year
Jesper Svensson, Soph., Campbell

Freshman of the Year
Kieran Vincent, Fr., Liberty

Coach of the Year
John Crooks, Campbell

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Myles Creighton, Jr., Radford

All-Championship Team
Jesper Svensson, Campbell
Kieran Vincent, Liberty
Thomas La Morte, Campbell
Myles Creighton, Radford
Mickey DeMorat, Liberty