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Golf Heads Back to West Coast for North Ranch Intercollegiate
For the second time this spring, Liberty's men's golf program will travel across the country, this time heading to Westlake Village, Calif., to participate in the North Ranch Intercollegiate on Monday and Tuesday.
The two-day, 54-hole event will be contested at the North Ranch Country Club, a par-71, 6,753-yard golf course.
The collegiate event has been hosted each year since 1978 and was started by USC. Pepperdine hosted the event in 2012, while USC hosted the 2012 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship, a tournament where Liberty finished in 10th place.
This year's event is co-hosted by USC and Pepperdine and features a 12-team field, spotlighted by USC, who is currently ranked No. 8 by Golfweek and No. 10 by Golfstat.
The Flames are the second-highest ranked team in the dozen-program field, as Liberty comes into the event ranked No. 29 by Golfweek and No. 34 by Golfstat.
Also included in the field is two-time defending event champion San Diego State, who won by five strokes over San Diego in 2012. San Diego State carded a 24-over par 864 (281-292-291) to outdistance San Diego (284-294-291-869/29-over par).
The victory jump-started San Diego State's 2012 spring season. The Aztecs finished in fourth place in stroke play at the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship before falling, 3-2, to No. 3 California in the first round of match play at Riviera Country County Club.
Some of professional golf's best players have won this event during their collegiate playing days, including Tiger Woods (1996/Stanford), Paul Casey (1998/Arizona State), Jason Gore (1997/Pepperdine), Billy Mayfair (1987/Arizona State) and two-time winner Corey Pavin (1978 and 1981/UCLA).
This year's field includes seven Top 125 golfers (ranked by Golfweek), including a pair of Flames. USC's Anthony Paolucci (No. 34) and Yi Keun Chang (No. 50) are the top ranked golfers in the field, followed by No. 73 Jon Rahm of Arizona State.
Liberty's Chase Marinell is next on the list, as the junior enters the event ranked No. 82 by Golfweek. He currently leads the Flames with a 72.67 stroke average this year, having played eight of his 18 rounds at par or better.
He has three top 10 finishes in six events, including a tie for eighth place when Liberty made its first West Coast swing in January. He carded a two-under par 211 (71-70-70) at the Arizona Intercollegiate.
Niklas Lindstrom was awarded his third Big South Golfer of the Week award two weeks ago after the junior finished tied for fifth place at the SunTrust Gator Invitational with a one-under par 209 (69-71-69). He ranks No. 114 by Golfweek and is second on the team with 73.06 stroke average and leads the squad with three top five finishes in 2012-13.
Max McKay and Ian McConnell rank third and fourth on the Flames' roster, respectively, having stroke averages of 73.56 and 73.93.
McKay has finished Top 30 or better in four of his six events this season, while McConnell has done the same in his last four events, including a tie for 23rd place at Florida's SunTrust Gator Invitational with a five-over par 215 (72-72-71).
Live stats will be provided for all three rounds of the North Ranch Intercollegiate by Golfstat. The 12-team field will play 36 holes on Monday, followed by the final 18 holes on Tuesday. A shotgun start will open the event on Monday morning at 7:30 a.m. (PST).
2013 North Ranch Intercollegiate Field
(Golfweek/Golfstat Team Rankings)
Arizona State (No. 47/52)
BYU (No. 62/68)
Liberty (No. 29/34)
Lipscomb (No. 183/193)
Pepperdine (No. 121/121)
San Diego (No. 59/56)
San Diego State (No. 60/59)
UC Irvine (No. 84/77)
UC Riverside (No. 216/227)
UC Santa Barbara (No. 117/116)
USC (No. 8/10)
Western Kentucky (No. 160/147)
Top 125 Individual Golfers in the Field
(Golfweek Individual Rankings)
No. 34 – Anthony Paolucci (USC)
No. 50 – Yi Keun Chang (USC)
No. 73 – Jon Rahm (Arizona State)
No. 82 – Chase Marinell (Liberty)
No. 90 – Sam Smith (USC)
No. 114 – Niklas Lindstrom (Liberty)
No. 124 – Grant Forrest (San Diego)
North Ranch Country Club (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Par 71, 6,753 yards