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Flames Tied for 8th Place Following Day 1 of The Hayt
No. 48 Liberty battled blustery playing conditions on Friday and finished the first day of play at The Hayt tied for eighth place.
The Flames, who moved up to No. 48 just prior to the start of the event, carded a 17-over par 305. The 15-team field was tested by steady winds throughout the day, as well as gusts up to 20 MPH, as they circled the Sawgrass Country Club (par 72, 6,966 yards).
No. 37 North Florida, the tournament host, made good use of its local knowledge of the course and currently leads the event following a 5-over par 293.
Jacksonville, a crosstown rival of North Florida, stands in second place following an 11-over par 299. No. 13 Oklahoma State is in third place with a 12-over par 300.
No. 47 Louisville (13-over par 301) and North Texas (14-over par 302) are currently in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
The Flames share eighth place with No. 50 Tennessee with a 17-over par 305. The Flames and the Volunteers are ahead of No. 38 UAB, who is in 10th place with a 19-over par 307, and No. 43 East Carolina, who is in 11th place with a 22-over par 310.
Only four players in the 87-player field will enter tomorrow's second round under par. North Florida's Phillip Knowles and Oklahoma State's Brendon Jelley lead the individual leaderboard following a 2-under par 70
Oklahoma State's Zach Bauchuo and Jacksonville's Raul Pereda are one shot out of the lead, sharing third place with a 1-under par 71.
Isaiah Logue paced Liberty's play on Friday, posting a 3-over par 75 and is tied for 18th place. The sophomore opened the day with a birdie on his first hole, the par-4 No. 10 (405 yards), but could not find additional red numbers the rest of the day.
Hutson Chandler currently shares 26th place following a 4-over par 76 round on Friday. The sophomore got two shots back during his closing nine holes with birdies at No. 3 (par 3, 175 yards) and No. 8 (par 5, 536 yards).
Taylor led the Flames with three birdies on the day, including two on the par-5 No. 4 (514 yards) and No. 18 (520 yards) holes.
DeMorat dropped three of his five strokes on one hole when he pushed his drive out of bounds to the right of the tee at No. 13 (par 4, 465 yards). Following his first of a trio of three putts, the sophomore was a 4-over par on the day.
Like Taylor, DeMorat benefited from strong play on the par-5 holes, carding birdies at No. 18 and No. 8. On his final par-5 of the day at No. 8, DeMorat was through the green in two and nearly chipped in for an eagle.
On the day, the sophomore hit 11-of-14 fairways, 12-of-18 greens and finished with 34 total putts.
Rounding out Liberty's play in the first round of The Hayt is Gabe Lench, who shares 62nd place following an 8-over par 80.
The Flames will return to the Sawgrass Country Club tomorrow morning for the middle day of the three-day tournament. Liberty will be paired with golfers from No. 23 UCLA and Big South rival Coastal Carolina, who share sixth place with a 15-over par 303.