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Linger Longer Invitational Up Next for Flames
The Flames will start gearing up for postseason play this weekend when they face one of their toughest fields of the year at the 2013 Linger Longer Invitational, co-hosted by Kennesaw State and Mercer.
This year's Linger Longer 14-team field includes six Top 40 programs, spotlighted by No. 2/2 Alabama, No. 11/10 Georgia Tech, No. 13/14 Oklahoma State and No. 15/12 Georgia (Golfweek/Golfstat rankings).
No. 29/40 Liberty leads the next tier of programs in this year's field, followed by No. 33/31 Oklahoma.
The 14-team field will play 36 continuous holes on Saturday, followed by 18 final holes on Sunday at the Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation. The course will play at 7,073 yards, the longest course Liberty has played this spring, and at a par 72.
In the event's seven-year history, only four different teams have claimed victory: Alabama (2011 and 2012), Georgia (2006, 2007 and 2009), Mississippi (2008) and Oklahoma State (2010).
The field could also include up to 17 golfers currently ranked inside the Golfweek Top 125 rankings, including two-time defending individual event champion Cory Whitsett of Alabama.
The golfer, who is ranked No. 16 in the country, posted a 13-under par 203 in victory in 2011, followed by an eight-under par 208 in 2012, which he eventually won on the fourth hole of a playoff.
This will mark the second year in a row the Flames have competed in the event, but it will be the first time Liberty's current top-ranked golfer has participated in the tournament.
A difficult second round dropped Liberty well down the 2012 leaderboard, as the Flames finished the event in seventh place with a 25-over par 889 (292-306-291).
Alabama (26-under par/278-286-274-838) and Georgia (12-under par/290-279-283-852) were the only two programs to break par during the 54-hole event.
Chase Marinell, who is currently ranked No. 53 in the country, did not travel with the Flames last time the team made the trip to Greensboro, Ga.
Marinell (72-68-72) is coming off his fifth Top 10 finish of the season in eight events, as he shared sixth place with fellow teammate Mathieu Fenasse (70-70-72) at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate, last week, with a two-over par 212.
Fenasse posted a seven-over par 223 (77-77-69) during last year's Linger Longer Invitational to finish tied for 35th place.
Two other returning Flames posted Top 40 finishes at the event (Niklas Lindstrom – 30th place with a five-over par 221 [70-77-74] and Ian McConnell – 31st place with a six-over par 222 [74-73-75]).
The Linger Longer was the final event of Max McKay's junior year at Liberty, where he finished in 69th place with a 23-over par 239 (84-79-76).
Saturday's shotgun start will kick off at 8:30 a.m., while Sunday's final round action, of the No. 1 and No. 10 tees, will begin at the same time. An award ceremony is currently scheduled for 3 p.m.
2013 Linger Longer Invitational Field
(Golfweek/Golfstat Team Rankings)
Alabama (No. 2/2)
Charlotte (No. 64/67)
Georgia (No. 15/12)
Georgia Tech (No. 11/10)
Jacksonville (No. 130/138)
Kennesaw State (No. 60/71)
Liberty (No. 29/40)
Mercer (No. 78/80)
Michigan State (No. 92/81)
Minnesota (No. 117/115)
Oklahoma (No. 33/31)
Oklahoma State (No. 13/14)
Penn State (No. 102/131)
South Florida (No. 65/66)
Top 125 Individual Golfers in the Field
(Golfweek Individual Rankings)
No. 6 – Justin Thomas (Alabama)
No. 14 – Trey Mullinax (Alabama)
No. 15 – Bobby Wyatt (Alabama)
No. 16 – Cory Whitsett (Alabama)
No. 26 – Ollie Schniederjans (Georgia Tech)
No. 38 – T.J. Mitchell (Georgia)
No. 43 – Ian Davis (Oklahoma State)
No. 44 – Talor Gooch (Oklahoma State)
No. 53 – Chase Marinell (Liberty)
No. 58 – Anders Albertson (Georgia Tech)
No. 61 – Jordan Niebrugge
No. 76 – Jimmy Beck (Kennesaw State)
No. 95 – Lee McCoy (Georgia)
No. 104 – Michael Hines (Georgia Tech)
No. 106 – Abraham Ancer (Oklahoma)
No. 108 – Will Kropp (Oklahoma)
No. 115 – Nicholas Reach (Georgia)
Great Waters at Reynolds Plantation (Greensboro, Ga.)
Par 72, 7,073 yards