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Golf Remains in Contention at Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate
The top six in the 18-team team field at the 2013 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate are within seven strokes of each other, setting the stage for Tuesday's final round action at the Palmetto Golf Course.
Following 36 holes of play, home-state favorite South Carolina leads by one stroke over N.C. State and four over Augusta State and Virginia. Clemson and Liberty round out the top six teams seven shots off the pace.
No. 36/35 South Carolina (Golfweek/Golfstat) had a four-shot improvement during the afternoon flight to finish the first day with a 10-over par 570 (287-283).
N.C. State, who was tied with Augusta State after round one, fell back a bit and finished the day with an 11-over par 571 (284-287).
Augusta State (284-290) and Virginia (291-283) share third place with a 14-over par 574, thanks to the Cavaliers tying South Carolina's low team score during the afternoon flight.
No. 23/22 Clemson was one shot off the pace after the first 18 holes, but the Tigers dropped back during the afternoon and carded a 17-over par 577 (285-292).
No. 29/34 Liberty was the most consistent of the top-tiered teams, carding an eight-over par 288 during the morning and a nine-over par 289 during the afternoon to share fifth place with Clemson (577).
Tournament host USC Aiken, currently ranked No. 3 in the latest Division II golf listings, rounds out the top seven teams with a 20-over par 580 (288-292).
Only three of the 90 players in the field were able to finish the day in red figures on the par-70, 6,617-yard trek, which is the fourth oldest golf course in the country.
Virginia's Mac McLaughlin had the low round of the day, carding a six-under par 64 during the afternoon, and leads the field overall with a five-under par 135 (71-64).
USC Aiken's Matt Atkins posted consistent rounds of two-under par and is in second place with a four-under par 136 (68-68).
Rounding out the under par scores is Matthew NeSmith of South Carolina, who also recorded two sub-70 rounds and is in third place with a three-under par 137 (68-69).
Three players finished the day at level par, including two of Liberty's starting five golfers – Mathieu Fenasse and Chase Marinell. The pair of Flame golfers share fourth place with N.C. State's Chad Cox (68-72).
Marinell, currently ranked No. 59 in the country by Golfweek, opened with a two-over par 72, but followed with his third sub-70 round in his last three events to level his overall score on the day at an even par 140 (72-68). The junior finished the day with 24 pars, ranking among the tournament's leaders in the statistical category.
Fenasse carded his second and third round at 70 in his last four rounds of golf on Monday to share fourth place with an ever par 140 (70-70). The sophomore is tied for the tournament lead with nine birdies through the first 36 holes of play.
Max McKay is tied for 17th place following a five-over par 145 through 36 holes of play (71-74). Liberty's senior golfer ranked one behind Fenasse with eight birdies on the day.
McKay, beginning his day on the uphill par-4 No. 15 hole, opened with a birdie to quickly get into red figures. However, the senior gave the shot right back with a bogey at No. 16, a par-3 that was part of the course's original construction in 1892.
Consecutive bogeys at No. 7 and 8 dropped McKay back to two-over par. But the senior was able to close out his morning flight with two birdies, three pars and a bogey to tie his second lowest 18 hole total of the year.
Ian McConnell is tied for 65th place after finished the day with a 13-over par 153 (75-78). Following a five-over par opening round, the junior struggled out of the gates during the afternoon, carding two bogeys, a double bogey and a triple bogey, offset by a birdie, to fall quickly behind at six-over par after six holes.
McConnell seemed to correct his scoring as he started back at No. 1 (his seventh hole of the round). The junior closed out his day with just three additional bogeys, eight pars and a near ace on the par-3, No. 9 hole that turn into his lone birdie of the afternoon.
Niklas Lindstrom, Liberty's final golfer in the field, is in 82nd place, following a 19-over par 159 (82-77).
The Flames will return to the Palmetto Golf Course tomorrow morning to begin the final round of the 2013 Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate. Liberty will be paired up with golfers from Clemson and Virginia and sent off the No. 1 tee, starting at 9:40 a.m.
@LibertyFlames (official Twitter feed for Liberty Athletics) will be following one of Liberty's starting five golfers throughout the final round, where Liberty will be looking for its fifth-straight top five finish at this event.