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Golf Continues Spring Slate at Cleveland Golf Invite
Following three straight events in Florida, Liberty continues its 2016 spring schedule next week at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, S.C.
The two-day, 54-hole event is hosted by USC Aiken, who is currently ranked No. 9 in the latest Golfstat Division II national rankings. The 18-team field will play 36 continuous holes on Monday, followed by the event's final 18 holes on Tuesday.
The tournament is hosted at the famed Palmetto Golf Club (par 70, 6,671 yards), which is considered the fourth oldest golf course in the country. The course was founded in 1892 by Thomas Hitchcock, who started with four holes where the course's current practice range and No. 16, 17 and 18 holes currently stand. The course was expanded to 18 holes in 1895 and has held tournaments that were won by golfing legends Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson.
The Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate is a familiar stop on Liberty's schedule. The Flames have competed in this tournament for the last seven consecutive seasons, having posted an 866.14 average team score.
The Flames have finished top five in the event five out of their seven appearances. Despite Liberty posting its lowest team score in seven events (5-over par 845), Liberty is coming off a seventh place showing at last year's tournament.
Liberty's top returning player from last year's event is sophomore Isaiah Logue, who finished the 2015 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate tied for 11th place with a 4-under par 206 (70-68-68).
Payton Taylor finished the event tied for 29th place with a 3-over par 213 (72-72-69), followed by Hutson Chandler, who finished tied for 73rd place with a 13-over par 223 (76-72-75). Adam Eineving finished tied for 85th place with a 20-over par 230 (79-71-80).
Logue continues to lead the Flames during the 2015-16 season, having carded a 71.76 season stroke average. The sophomore has posted four top 10 finishes in seven events and played 10 of 21 rounds at par or better.
Fellow sophomore Mickey DeMorat ranks second on Liberty's roster with a 72.95 season stroke average. He had a third place showing at the SunTrust Gator Invitational with an 8-under par 202 (70-66-66), his best of Liberty's first three tournaments of the spring.
Taylor ranks third on Liberty's roster with a 74.14 season stroke average, followed closely behind by freshman Gabe Lench (74.19) and Chandler (74.87).
This year's tournament field features five teams currently ranked in the top 50 in the country, including South Carolina (No. 22), Virginia (No. 26), Augusta (No. 35), N.C. State (No. 43) and East Carolina (No. 45).
Liberty's ninth place showing at last week's The Hayt event in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., dropped the Flames from No. 48 in the country to No. 54 in this week's Golfstat rankings.
Host USC Aiken has added a new component to this year's tournament. The school will provide live video streaming from the No. 18 (par 4, 306 yards) hole at the Palmetto Golf Club through its YouTube channel during each day of the tournament.
2016 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate Field
(Updated Golfstat.com Rankings)
Akron (No. 121)
Augusta (No. 35)
Chattanooga (No. 86)
Coastal Carolina (No. 183)
East Carolina (No. 45)
Francis Marion (No. 159)
Furman (No. 150)
Georgia Southern (No. 62)
Idaho (No. 88)
Liberty (No. 54)
Maryland (No. 74)
N.C. State (No. 43)
Presbyterian (No. 198)
South Carolina (No. 22)
USC Aiken (No. 9 – Division II)
Virginia (No. 26)
Wisconsin (No. 131)
Wofford (No. 130)
Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken, S.C.)
Par 70, 6,617 yards