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Solid Second Round Keeps Flames in Contention in Texas
Liberty kept pace with tournament-host Texas during the second round of the Morris Williams Invitational and remains in the hunt for the team title heading into tomorrow's final round at University of Texas Golf Club.
Eleven of the tournament's 12 teams are currently ranked inside the latest Top 50 golf rankings, paced by No. 4 New Mexico (284-278) and No. 6 Texas (289-273), who share the overall tournament lead with No. 12 TCU (281-281). Each team enters the final round with a six-under par 562.
No. 44 Texas Tech is four shots off the overall pace and the last team under par, finishing day one at the par 71, 7,412-yard course with a two-under par 566 (284-282).
No. 18 Oklahoma State rounds out the top five programs in the field following an even par score of 568 (285-283).
Liberty, currently ranked No. 39 by Golfstat, is one shot behind No. 18 Oklahoma State and seven shots behind the trio of leading teams.
Liberty's second round 10-under par 274 was the team's lowest score of the season and the team's best 18-hole score since a 271 during the closing round of the GolfWeek Conference Challenge on Sept. 21, 2010, which is the program's team 18-hole record.
Only the Longhorns bested the Flames during the second round, as Texas closed day one of its home event with an 11-under par 273.
A dozen players completed the first 36 holes of the event in red figures and Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom led the group with the best individual second round total.
The junior carded a six-under par 65, becoming just the eighth golfer in program history to card a 65 or best round of golf.
Lindstrom's second round effort, which was bogey free with six birdies, has him tied for fourth place with a three-under par 139 (74-65). Lindstrom is five strokes behind overall tournament leader Julien Brun of TCU, who leads the field of 72 golfers with an eight-under par 134 (65-69).
Liberty has a pair of golfers tied for 18th place with an overall one-over par 143. Chase Marinell (71-72), individual ranked No. 80 by Golfstat, opened the tournament with an even par 71 and closed the day with a one-over par 72. On the day, he carded six birdies and seven bogeys.
Mathieu Fenasse (75-68) continued his consistent play of late and shares 18th place with Marinell and six other golfers. The sophomore was able to offset a double bogey during each of his rounds today, with five birdies to help him match his low career 18-hole score.
Ian McConnell (75-69) helped the Flames card their 10-under par score with his third sub-70 round of the season. The junior, who is overall tied for 26th place with a two-over par 144, matched Fenasse's effort with five second round birdies.
The Flames final golfer in the field is freshman Michael Hocker, who is tied for 67th place with a 16-over par 158 (83-75).
Liberty will play its final regular season round of golf tomorrow to close out the Morris Williams Invitational before next week's Big South Men's Golf Championship (April 20-22).
The Flames, along with golfers from Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, will be sent off the No. 1 tee, starting tomorrow morning at 8:18 a.m. (CST).