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Flames Finish Rees Jones Invitational in Seventh Place
The Flames matched their second-round score on Tuesday and were unable to move up or down the 2013 Rees Jones Invitational, finishing their second event of the fall in seventh place.
Scores continued to rise throughout the final round of the event with only two teams managing to post team scores below the 300 mark on the Haig Point Golf Course (par 72, 7,380 yards).
One of those two teams was eventual tournament champion Kennesaw State, who carded a 10-over par 298 on Tuesday to secure the win. The Owls survived the final day to win the event by two strokes with a 21-over par 885 winning score (290-297-298).
USF, who led following the first two rounds of the event, carded a 16-over par 304 during the final round and slipped to second place. The Bulls finished the event with an overall 23-over par 887 score (286-297-304).
Tournament host South Carolina was the other team to not cross the 300-stroke team threshold on Tuesday and was able to finish its event in a share of second place with a 23-over par 887 (298-290-299). UNCW finished in fourth place with a 30-over par 894 (296-293-305).
Four shots separated the fifth through eighth place teams, with Liberty's 37-over par 901 (291-305-305) taking seventh place.
East Carolina finished in fifth place with a 35-over par 899 (298-292-309), followed by Middle Tennessee State's 36-over par 900 (299-300-301). Charlotte finished below the Flames in eighth place with a 39-over par 903 (291-306-306).
Liberty's second and third round scores marked the first time the Flames have posted consecutive regular season team rounds in the 300s since its first two rounds of the 2012-13 season at the Northern Intercollegiate (Sept. 8, 2012).
Liberty did manage to finish ahead of the two Big South programs in the 12-team field. Winthrop shared ninth place with a 45-over par 909 (307-301-301) and Charleston Southern took 12th place with an 86-over par 950 (311-308-331).
Only one player managed to finish the three-day, 54-hole event in red figures, as USF's Chase Koepka led the event wire-to-wire. He posted a winning score of four-under par 212 (68-70-74) and overcame an opening double bogey on Tuesday to win by four strokes.
Mathieu Fenasse paced the way for the Flames, bookending even par rounds of 72 to finish the event tied for sixth place with a three-over par 219 (72-75-72). The junior offset four bogeys with four birdies on the day to close out his first collegiate event of the year and his seventh career top 10 finish.
Marinell had four bogeys and two birdies on his front side scorecard and closed with nine-straight pars on his final nine holes of play.
McConnell made the turn at three-over par, but had five bogeys, a double bogey and two birdies during his closing eight holes to card his first regular season score of 80 since his first round of play of the 2012-13 season.
Niklas Lindstrom finished in a tie for 37th place with a 15-over par 231 (72-80-79). The senior had six bogeys and a double bogey on his first 10 holes of play, but closed with one-under par play during his last seven holes of the event.
Harrison Winger was Liberty's last starting golfer in the field, finishing the event tied for 54th place with a 21-over par 237 (79-77-81).
Michael Hocker also competed in the event as an individual, finishing tied for 30th with a 12-over par 228 (71-75-82).
The sophomore, who entered the day in the top 10 of the 69-man field, looked like he might be able to maintain his position after making the turn at two-over par on the day. But he was eight shots worse on his closing nine to fall to 30th place.
The Flames will quickly return to action on Monday to begin the Shoal Creek Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole event, hosted by UAB, will be contested at the Shoal Creek Golf Club in Birmingham, Ala.