Gray and Guillaume collect top Big South men's golf individual honors

Mitch Gray (left) and Vaita Guillaume
Mitch Gray (left) and Vaita Guillaume

NINETY SIX, S.C. –Campbell seniors Mitch Gray and Vaita Guillaume took home top individual honors when the Big South Conference announced its full all-conference teams on Wednesday afternoon.

A native of Florence, S.C., Gray was named Big South men's golf scholar-athlete of the year in a vote of league sports information directors.  Guillaume, who hails from Papeete, Tahiti, was named Big South player of the year by conference head coaches.

Gray owns a 3.755 grade-point average as a business administration major.  Like Guillaume, Gray participated in all 29 rounds for the Camels this year.  He has produced a pair of top-10 finishes, including a seventh-place tie at the Golfweek Program Challenge.

The senior from Florence, S.C., finished his senior season with a 73.4 stroke average, 12th-lowest in the conference, while producing four top-20 individual finishes.  He tied for 12th at the Big South Conference championship (74-69-74—217) and was named to the Big South all-academic team.

Gray recorded his best collegiate 54-hole score (71-69-69--209) to help CU win the Golfweek Program Challenge (Sept. 11-13) men's stroke play title.  He teamed with Michelle Koh to win a one-hole, alternating shot playoff against East Carolina for the combined male-female title.  Gray was in the Camel lineup for each of the team's three tournament titles in 2011-12.

As a junior, Gray was one of 138 players in NCAA Division I named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA).  He earned Atlantic Sun Conference All-Academic honors in each of his first three collegiate seasons.

Guillaume's honor marked the eighth time that a Camel golfer has earned conference player of the year recognition during the program's Division I era (since 1977-78).  Gary Hobgood (1987), Dirk Fennie (1989), Brad Wilson (1992) and Troy Ferris (1993) were named Big South player of the year, while Georges Plumet (1998, 1999) and Simon Dunn (2002) took the top award during the program's tenure in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

A first-team All-Big South Conference selection, Guillaume was named to the A-Sun all-conference second unit in each of his first three collegiate seasons.  He is the first Camel golfer to receive all-league recognition four times since Braxton Wynns accomplished the feat from 2001-04).  Duane Bock (1988-91) was the only CU golfer to be named all-league four times in the program's first Big South era (1985-94).

The Big South stroke average leader (70.69), Guillaume won his four individual titles this year, the most in a season by a Campbell golfer during its Division I history.  He added the Wofford Coca-Cola Invitational crown to three other events he has already won during the 2011-12 season – the Georgetown Intercollegiate, Kiawah Classic and Bash at the Beach.  His victory at Wofford was his 4th in a 6-outing span.

He finished 12-under-par (69-64-71--204) at the Coca-Cola Invitational to set tournament records for score vs. par and 54-hole total.  In the second round, Guillaume tied the school and tournament 18-hole record with an 8-under 64 on the par-72, 6648-yard Country Club of Spartanburg layout. Guillaume matched the school 18-hole record of 64 first set by Simon Dunn at the 2001 UCF Rio Pinar Invitational. Guillaume also shot 64 at the 2010 Mardi Gras Invitational and 2011 Charleston Shootout.

The senior from Papeete, Tahiti notched his career-best 36-hole performance (133), a mark that stands 2nd in school history and only two strokes off the Campbell record of 131 set by Kyle Spahr at the 2006 Hartford Hawks Invitational. Guillaume's 204 tally for 54 holes is also a career-best and the fourth-lowest in Campbell's men's golf Division I era (since 1977-78).

His win also marked the 18th time he has finished among the top-10 individuals in a collegiate tournament.

Guillaume stands 43rd in the latest Golfstat Cup listing.  His average score stands 12th in the country.  Guillaume leads the nation in par-4 scoring (3.94) and in putts on greens in regulation (1.706).  He stands 10th in the country in putts per round (29.0).

Campbell placed among the top 5 schools in each of its 10 tournaments this year with three team titles (Golfweek Program Challenge, Kiawah Classic and Bash at the Beach).

2012 Big South Conference Men's Golf

All-Conference Team                                                                      
Vaita Guillaume, Sr., Campbell
Robert Karlsson, Sr., Liberty
Jacobo Pastor, Sr., Charleston Southern
Sebastian Soderberg, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Kristopher Gray, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Daniel Kim, Jr., Gardner-Webb
Chase Marinell, Soph., Liberty
Roberto Ballesteros, Soph., Coastal Carolina
Niklas Lindstrom, Soph., Liberty
Ross Thomson, R-Soph., Charleston Southern                                                                    

All-Academic Team
Mitch Gray, Sr., Campbell
David Denlinger, Jr., Charleston Southern
Sebastian Soderberg, Jr., Coastal Carolina
Kristopher Gray, Sr., Gardner-Webb
Chase Wilson, Jr., High Point
Max McKay, Jr., Liberty
Matt Sizemore, Jr., Presbyterian College
Callum Tarren, Soph., Radford
Damon Postal, Soph., Winthrop

Championship Medalist
Robert Karlsson, Sr., Liberty 

Golfer of the Year
Vaita Guillaume, Sr., Campbell 

Freshman of the Year
Ben Wheeler, Coastal Carolina 

Coach of the Year
Mike Wilson, Charleston Southern 

Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Mitch Gray, Sr., Campbell