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Flames Make Return Trip to Florida for The Hayt

February 21, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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The Hayt Collegiate Invitational live scoring (provided by Golfsta.com)

Live on-course updates from @LUGameday

For the third and final time this regular season, Liberty heads back to Florida this weekend to participate in The Hayt Collegiate Invitational, hosted by North Florida at the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Liberty, currently ranked No. 27 in the country by Golfstat and No. 30 by Golfweek, has opened the spring portion of its 2013-14 schedule with two "Sunshine State" events.

The Flames returned to competition and finished the Sea Best Invitational tied atop the leaderboard with North Florida at an event hosted at TPC Sawgrass – THE PLAYERS Stadium Course on Feb. 3-4. Liberty was declared the tournament victor based upon the Flames strong play during the final round, giving Liberty its 23 NCAA Division I team title.

Last week, Liberty finished tied for seventh place at the SunTrust Gator Invitational at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla. The 14-team field including six top 25 ranked programs and was won by No. 21/25 Arkansas.

The Flames will face another strong test at next week's The Hayt Collegiate Invitational with the 15-team field featuring five top 50 programs, including No. 2/3 Oklahoma State, No. 6/8 UCF, No. 13/11 UAB and No. 47/45 Tennessee.

Tournament host North Florida, who Liberty bested by six strokes at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, sits just outside the top 50 rankings at No. 51/54.

The Hayt Collegiate Invitational has been contested at the Sawgrass Country Club since 1992. North Florida has used the home course advantage to its liking, posting 11 top three finished and winning the team title in 1994, 2010 and 2013.

Last year, North Florida posted a 17-under par 559 to claim the team title, winning by 12 strokes over Duke's five-under par 571. UNF's Kevin Phelan claimed medalist honors with a 13-under par 131, followed by teammate's Sean Dale nine-under par 135 finish. Eleven total players circled the par-72, 7,001-yard course three time and finished in red figures.

Head coach Jeff Thomas will take the same five golfers back to Florida who participated in both the Sea Best Invitational and the SunTrust Gator Invitational.

Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom has been the Flames strongest golfer this spring, posting a pair of top 20 finishes. He finished tied for third at the Sea Best Invitational with a two-over par 218 (71-74-73) and tied for 12th at the SunTrust Gator Invitational with a five-over par 215 (70-77-68).

Lindstrom, who was named the Big South Men's Golfer of the Week on Feb. 6, has moved into second place on Liberty's roster with a 73.28 stroke average.

Chase Marinell will look to get back on track at The Hayt, following his 25th-place showing at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, the senior's second-highest finish of the season. Marinell has finished top 10 in three out of six starts this season and leads the Flames with a 72.65 stroke average.

Mathieu Fenasse (tied for fifth place), Ian McConnell (12th place) and Harrison Winger (tied for 13th) place all had top 20 finishes to help the Flames claim the title at the Sea Best Invitational three weeks ago.

Golfstat.com will provide live scoring for all 54 holes of the three-day event. First round action gets underway on Sunday at 10:15 a.m., following by second and third round play on Monday and Tuesday at 8 a.m.

LibertyFlames.com will also be providing live on-course updates through its @LUGameday Twitter account, following a different Flame each day during The Hayt Collegiate Invitational. 

2014 The Hayt Collegiate Invitational
(Latest Golfstat/Golfweek Team Rankings)
Coastal Carolina (No. 88/84)
Furman (No. 127/131)
GRU Augusta (No. 80/64)
Jacksonville (No. 184/186)
Liberty (No. 27/30)
Louisville (No. 54/51)
North Florida (No. 51/54)
North Texas (No. 85/81)
Oklahoma State (No. 2/3)
Tennessee (No. 47/45)
Troy (No. 76/75)
Tulsa (No. 92/96)
UAB (No. 13/11)
UCF (No. 6/8)
UNC Wilmington (No. 64/67)

Course Information:
Sawgrass Country Club (Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.)
Par 72, 7,001 yards