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Flames Finish Season-Opening Event in Fourth Place
UCF was able to come out on top of a four-team race on Sunday, while Liberty finished in fourth place in its 2013-14 season-opening event at the Northern Intercollegiate, hosted by Northern Illinois.
Each of the four teams held the team lead during the closing nine holes of play at Rich Harvest Farms (par 72, 7,236 yards/2014 NCAA Men's Golf Regional site). However, UCF's five-under par 283 on the closing day was able to move the Knights atop the leaderboard at the end of the three-day, 54-hole event.
UCF, who finished last year ranked No. 26/39 in the country (Golfstat/Golfweek), saved its best round of the tournament for Sunday and finished one stroke ahead of runner-up Virginia.
UCF posted a winning score of two-over par 866 (290-293-283), one stroke ahead of the Cavaliers three-over par 867 (289-291-287).
Houston and Liberty held the top two spots on the 15-team leaderboard following first and second round action, but fell to third and fourth on the final day of competition.
Houston (last year ranked No. 25/26) took third place with five-over par 869 (279-293-297) followed by the Flames, who finished fourth with a seven-over par 871 (281-296-294). Kentucky finished in a distant fifth place with a 19-over par 883 (286-303-294).
Houston's Roman Robledo was able to fend three charges during the final round, including two from Liberty, to claim individual medalist honors with a five-under par 211 (68-70-73).
UCF's Greg Eason finished one shot behind Robledo with a four-under par 212 (77-68-67) to take second place.
Chase Marinell closed with his best round of the tournament, a two-under par 70, to finish the event in third place with an aggregate three-under par 213 (71-72-70). The senior offset three bogeys with five birdies to post his fifth career Top 5 finish on Sunday.
Niklas Lindstrom finished one stroke behind his fellow senior golfer, taking fourth place with a two-over par 214 (70-71-73). Lindstrom did have his closing round at two-under par at the turn, but struggled on the back nine where he posted four bogeys and a birdie to finish the day with a one-over par 73.
Harrison Winger posted his second career Top 20 finish thanks to a three-over par 219 score (71-75-73) to finish in a tie for 15th place. Just like Lindstrom, Winger made the turn at two-under par, but closed with three back nine bogeys.
Ian McConnell was unable to rekindle his first round score where he opened with a three-under par 69. He closed with a seven-over par 79 and finished tied for 40th place with a 10-over par 226 (69-78-79).
Rounding out Liberty's starting five golfers was Michael Hocker who finished tied for 55th place with a 15-over par 231 (73-80-78). The sophomore's final round was spotlighted by an ace on the par-3, 191-yard No. 13 hole.
Liberty had one additional golfer competing in the field where Jacob Mast finished tied for 67th place with 19-over par 235 (71-85-79).
The Flames will have the next two weeks off to prepare to defend their 2013 team title at the Reese Jones Intercollegiate, Sept. 22-24, at the Haig Point Golf Course in Daufuskie Island, S.C.
Last year, the Flames won the event by 24 strokes over East Carolina and 26 strokes over host South Carolina. Liberty had four of the top five golfers in the field, including Lindstrom who won the event with a three-under par 213 (73-70-70).