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Flames in 11th After Day One at SunTrust Gator Invitational
Following 36 holes of play at the 2014 SunTrust Gator Invitational on Saturday, Liberty finds itself in 11th place, but in the mix to move up the leaderboard heading into tomorrow's final round action.
Liberty is one of seven teams that sit in the middle of the pack of the 14-team field, with the Flames just seven shots out of fifth place in a tournament field that features six top 25 ranked programs.
The Flames are one of those nationally ranked teams. They entered the two-day event ranked No. 24 by Golfstat and No. 26 by Golfweek following last week's victory at the Sea Best Invitational.
However, Liberty was not able to rekindle its same strong play during its return trip to the "Sunshine State," finishing play today with a 31-over par 591 (295-296).
No. 21/25 Arkansas was the most consistent team on the Mark Bostick Golf Course. The Razorbacks lead the field by three strokes after carding a 10-over par 570 (286-284).
No. 34/38 Mercer is in second place with a 13-over par 573 (295-278), after recording the only under-par team score on the day during the second round.
No. 20/21 Florida State is in third place with a 16-over par 576 (284-292), followed by No. 16/16 Vanderbilt, who is in fourth place with a 17-over par 577 (293-284).
Georgia Southern begins the log jam for the middle-tiered teams with the Eagles holding down fifth place with a 23-over par 583 (292-291).
The five teams between Liberty and Georgia Southern include No. 8/9 UAB, who is in seventh place with a 27-over par 587 (297-290) and No. 5/8 UCF (299-289), No. 46/51 North Florida (293-295) and host Florida (291-297), who are tied for eighth place with a 28-over par 588.
Only two players in the 75-man field managed to circle the par-70, 6,701-yard course twice and remain under par. Mercer's Trey Rule currently leads the field with a three-under par 137 (70-67), followed by first-day runner-up Hank Lebioda of Florida State who is two strokes behind with a one-under par 139 (69-70).
A pair of Liberty golfers carded two of the top rounds during the first day of competition, but could not string back-to-back successful runs to crack the top 10 on the leaderboard.
Niklas Lindstrom continued his strong play from last week, opening the day with an even-par 70 and was tied for third place after the morning flight. However, the senior struggled the second time around the course posting a seven-over par 77 to drop to share of 27th place with a seven-over par 147 score (70-77).
Chase Marinell, one of three Floridian's on Liberty's roster at the event, fired five birdies and two bogeys during his second round to post a three-under par 67 and tie for the low round of the afternoon flight. However, the senior's second round score was 10 shots different than his opening round and he is tied for 13th with a four-over par 144 (77-67).
Liberty's remaining three golfers in the field are Mathieu Fenasse, who is tied for 57th place with a 12-over par 152 (74-78), Ian McConnell, who is tied for 61st place with a 14-over par 154 (74-80) and Harrison Winger, who is tied for 67th place with a 15-over par 155 (81-74).
The 14-team field will return to the Mark Bostick Course tomorrow morning for the final round of action at the 2014 SunTrust Gator Invitational for an 8 a.m. shotgun start.