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Golf Finishes North Ranch Invite in Fourth Place
Only two out of the dozen teams in the North Ranch Intercollegiate field managed to break 300 during a blustery final round on Tuesday. With the higher scores, little movement was made on the team leaderboard from yesterday, leaving the Flames to finish the 54-hole event in fourth place.
No. 29/34 Liberty (Golfweek/Golfstat) fired the fourth-best round of the day, which was a 17-over par 301. The Flames score was four-plus shots better than the field average (305.9) on the par-71, 6,753-yard North Ranch Country Club. Liberty finished the event with a 29-over par 881 (285-295-301) team score.
The only two teams to have scores south of the 300 mark on Tuesday were the two programs who finished first and second in the USC and Pepperdine-hosted event.
Tournament winner No. 8/10 USC, who won by nine strokes, finished the afternoon 15-over par 299 and the two-day event with an 11-over par 863 (285-279-299).
BYU fired the low round of the day, a 14-over par 298, to secure a runner-up finish with a 20-over par 872 (283-291-298). Tournament co-host Pepperdine finished three shots behind the Cougars, with a 23-over par 875 (292-282-301).
Two-time defending tournament champion San Diego State, who advanced to the match play portion of last year's NCAA Men's Golf National Championship, finished seven strokes behind the Flames. The Aztecs finished the event with a 36-over par 888 (294-291-303).
Liberty's Chase Marinell flirted with his first collegiate individual medalist honor during the final round, but was eventually outdistanced by USC's Yi Keun Chang and BYU's Zachary Blair by a few strokes.
Chang, ranked No. 50 in the country by Golfweek, finished atop the 69-man leaderboard with a two-under par 211 (70-68-73). Blair, who tied Marinell for the best individual final round score, posted a one-under par 212 (70-71-71).
Marinell had his third Top 5 finish of the season and fourth of his career, carding a level par score of 213 (68-74-71) for third place. The junior managed to get into red figures three different times during the final round, but followed three birdies with three bogeys.
Mathieu Fenasse had his best finish of the year and his third career Top 10 finish, carding a five-over par 218 (73-70-75) to share seventh place. The sophomore was near even par during the morning portion of his round before a triple bogey on the par 4 No. 9 hole dropped him down the leaderboard.
Ian McConnell had his fifth straight Top 30 finish, carding a 12-over par 225 (72-74-79) to finish the event tied for 28th place. Niklas Lindstrom matched McConnell's final round eight-over par 79 and finished the tournament tied for 37th place with a 15-over par 228 (72-77-79).
Max McKay saved his best round of the event for the final time around the North Ranch Country Club, closing with a five-over par 76. Overall, the senior finished event tied for 53rd place with a 22-over par 235 (80-79-76).
When the Flames return to the links on March 11 and 12, they will be playing on a much more familiar trek at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto. Liberty has played in the USC-Aiken hosted event the last four seasons, finishing top four each year including a runner-up finish in 2009.