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LU Crosses Country for Colorado Tournament
The tournament will take place just outside of Turlock, Calif., roughly 25 miles south of Modesto at the majestic Stevinson Ranch Golf Club. The course was ranked No. 11 in Golf World's October 2008 issue listing Top 50 public courses in the United States, with No. 1 rankings in course condition and practice facilities. The championship layout is a 7,142-yard, par-72 configuration, and the greens feature bent grass.
The two-day/54-hole event will commence with practice rounds on Sunday. Monday will feature 36 holes of continuous play with a shotgun start of 8 a.m. local time. Tuesday's final round will also feature a shotgun format at 8 a.m. local time.
Liberty is one of 16 teams participating in the event and the only squad from east of the Mississippi River. The other participating teams are Cal State Bakersfield, Cal State Stanislaus, Colorado, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Missouri, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Portland, Sacramento State, St. Mary's, San Francisco, South Dakota State, UMKC and Washington State. With 16 schools entered, along with nine individual slots, an 89-man field is set to tee off.
After being ranked by two national golf media outlets this week, Liberty golfer Robert Karlsson will be the highest ranked individual player at the event and one of six with a top 100 ranking. Only a freshman, Karlsson (Kalmar, Sweden) is ranked No. 14 by GolfStat and No. 35 by Golfweek. The other five ranked in the top 100 are all seniors, led by South Dakota State's Trent Peterson (No. 29 GolfStat), Missouri's Peter Malnati (No. 30 Golfstat, No. 47 Golfweek), and Colorado's duo of Derek Tolan (No. 37 GolfStat, No. 57 Golfweek) and Patrick Grady (No. 65 GolfStat, No. 87 Golfweek). South Dakota State's Geoff Mead (No. 83 GolfStat) rounds out the golfers participating in the tournament with a top 100 ranking.
Kansas has won six of the previous Stevinson Ranch Invitational events, including the first four. Pacific won the tournament in 2003, serving as the only school in the first seven years of the event besides Kansas to win the championship. Host Colorado has won its event once in 2006, after the tournament was shortened due to rain and lighting. Wichita State won the tournament in 2007 and New Mexico State took last year's event.
In addition to Karlsson, Liberty's five-man crew will feature senior Jay Calvo (Baird, Texas), sophomore Preston Dembowiak (Summerfield, N.C.), freshman Tobias Pettersson (Kalmar, Sweden) and redshirt-junior Nathan Schenz-Davis (San Diego, Calif.).
Make sure to check LibertyFlames.com for tournament results.