Golf reclaims conference title with Big South tourney win
Liberty University’s men’s golf team won its third Big South Championship in the last four years with solid performances from all five golfers.
The Flames finished the tournament with a total score of 867, five ahead of their closest contender Charleston Southern.
Three Flames golfers placed within the top 10 in individual scores. Senior Chase Marinelli took fourth at one under par, junior Mathieu Fenasse finished in sixth at one over par and senior Jacob Mast took eighth with four over par.
Head Coach Jeff Thomas credited a solid performance by Mast as being one of the keys to the Flames victory.
“We got a really good contribution out of our fifth man Jacob Mast,” Thomas said. “He and our fourth man played really well.”
“If he had not placed as well as he did, we would have had a hard time winning that golf tournament,” Thomas said.
According to Thomas, the team had a tryout for the fifth spot for the tournament, which Mast won.
The three-day, 56-hole, tournament was hosted by Liberty at the Patriot Golf Club in North Carolina.
Thomas described the course as having fast, undulating greens with tricky pin positions.
The Flames entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but after the opening round, they were in fourth place, five strokes behind Coastal Carolina.
“I felt like we played fine the first day,” Thomas said. “I knew we could have played better. I thought all the other teams played really well the first day.”
The second round of the tournament presented some additional challenges for the Flames.
“It was really windy on the second day,” Thomas said. “And the greens were really fast.”
Despite the adverse conditions, Liberty managed to pull ahead and take the lead at the end of the second round with a five-stroke lead over Coastal Carolina and a six-shot lead over Charleston Southern.
On the final round of the tournament, the Flames had their best round with 284 strokes, which was more than sufficient to hold off any contenders.
Marinelli was named Big South Golfer of the Year and was placed on the All-Tournament Team.
Marinelli, Fenasse and senior Niklas Lindstrom were also named the Big South All-Conference Team.