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Coach's Corner with Jeff Thomas
Leading into the team's final event of the fall, Nick Pierce had a chance to sit down with head golf coach Jeff Thomas to get some insight from the seven-year head coach.
Liberty is off to one of its best starts in program history, which has Liberty ranked No. 41 in the latest Golfweek collegiate team rankings. Liberty has a pair of Top 3 finishes to its credit this year, including a tie for first place at the Rees Jones Intercollegiate.
Liberty opened the season with a third-place showing at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, a well-known golf tournament that featured 12 teams who ranked inside the Top 75 last year. Liberty closed the three-day event with a program-record 17-under par 271.
Pacing the way for the Flames this year is Robert Karlsson, the reigning Big South Golfer of the Year. The junior has a 72.1 stroke average and has three Top 20 finishes this fall. At the Rees Jones Intercollegiate, he finished tied for second and was honored the next week by the conference as the league's Men's Golfer of the Week.
Two other golfers have claimed the same honor this fall, as Preston Dembowiak was named the award winner on Sept. 23 and Ian McConnell took home the honor on Oct. 15. Dembowiak was recognized after a career-best finish at the Golfweek Conference Challenge (four-under par 212/tied for ninth), while McConnell won the Richmond Invitational as an individual with a seven-under par 209.
The Flames will close out their fall slate next week, when they travel to Powells Points, N.C., for the ODU/OuterBanks Collegiate Golf Tournament. The three-day event, which kicks off on Sunday, will be contested at the Kilmarlic Golf Club, a par-72, 6,535-yard trek.