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Flames Look to Defend Rees Jones Invitational Title
Fresh off a fourth-place finish at the Northern Intercollegiate, Liberty will look to keep its fall golf schedule rolling when the Flames attempt to defend their title at the 2013 Rees Jones Invitational.
At last year's event, the Flames posted a six-over par 870 (284-290-296) and convincingly won by 24 strokes over East Carolina (298-303-293-894/+30) and by 26 strokes over host South Carolina (295-296-305/+32). The victory marked the program's 22nd Division I team tournament title.
Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom posted his second collegiate individual triumph by carding a three-under par 213 (73-70-70) to claim medalist honors with a six-stroke victory.
This year's event will once against be contested at the Haig Point Golf Club in Daufuskie Island, S.C. The Rees Jones signature golf course plays at 7,380 yards and at a par 72.
The 12-team tournament field includes several of the top programs in the country and Liberty's first look at a pair of Big South programs (Charleston Southern and Winthrop).
Six of the dozen teams in this year's Rees Jones Invitational finished last year inside the final top 75 Golfstat rankings including: South Carolina (No. 29), Liberty (No. 38), Kennesaw State (No. 59), Charlotte (No. 65) and UNCW (No. 71).
Liberty opened its 2013-14 schedule with a fourth-place showing at the Northern Intercollegiate. The event was hosted by Northern Illinois at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill., which will also host one of the six 2014 NCAA Men's Golf Regionals in May.
Four teams separated themselves from the 15-team field, finishing in a shootout during the final round of the three-day, 54-hole event. There was a five-stroke difference between the tournament winner and fourth place and a 12-stroke difference between fourth and fifth place.
UCF saved its best round of the tournament for last, closing in one-under par 283 to claim a one-stroke victory with an aggregate two-over par 866 (290-293-283).
Virginia took second place with a three-over par 867 (289-291-287), followed by Houston's five-over par 869 (279-293-297) and Liberty's seven-over par 871 (281-296-294).
Liberty had two of the event's top five finishers in Marinell and Lindstrom. Marinell, a 2013 PING All-Region honoree, finished in third place with a three-under par 213 (71-72-70), while 2013 All-Big South golfer Lindstrom shared fourth place with a two-over par 214 (70-71-73).
First round action at the 2013 Rees Jones Invitational will commence with 18 holes of action, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday, followed by two additional rounds of 18-hole play on Monday and Tuesday. Live stats for the event will be provided via Golfstat.
2013 Rees Jones Invitational
(Final 2012 Golfstat/Golfweek Team Rankings)
Charleston Southern (No. 181/182)
Charlotte (No. 65/66)
East Carolina (No. 94/96)
Georgia State (No. 78/72)
Kennesaw State (No. 59/53)
Liberty (No. 44/38)
Middle Tennessee State (No. 126/127)
South Carolina (No. 29/25)
USF (No. 56/58)
Troy (No. 124/136)
UNCW (No. 71/90)
Winthrop (No. 89/92)
Haig Point Golf Club (Daufuskie Island, S.C.)
Par 72, 7,380 yards