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McKay's Six-Under Secures Fourth Place for LU

November 2, 2009
|  Fort Myers, Fla.
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Max McKay fired a six-under par 66 to finish the Renaissance Invitational in a share of second place.

Max McKay fired a six-under par 66 to finish the Renaissance Invitational in a share of second place.

Max McKay fired the third-best round of the day, carding a six-under par 66, to jump up to second place at the Renaissance Invitational on Tuesday and help secure a fourth-place finish for Liberty in its final event of the fall season.

McKay carded his third-straight, sub-70 round to finish the 54-hole event in a share of second place, along with Penn State's Kevin Foley (71-66-65-202). Foley, along with Ball State's Eric Steger (75-64-65-204), both fired the day's top rounds, closing the event with a seven-under par 65 on the par-72, 7,026-yard Club at Renaissance Golf Course.

McKay entered the day tied for fifth place, after carding consecutive rounds of 68 during 36 holes of action on Sunday. His three-round aggregate 14-under par 202 (68-68-66) was two shots shy of Indiana's Alex Martin, who took home individual medalist honors with a 16-under par 200 (69-64-67).

Martin's three rounds in the 60s helped the Hoosiers outlast the Nittany Lions, as Indiana captured the team title at the event, hosted by Xavier, with a 32-under par 832 (280-271-281). Penn State was two strokes off the pace with a 30-under par 834 (287-271-276).

Campbell, who entered the final round with a one-stroke edge over Indiana, finished third with a 26-under par 838 (271-279-288), followed by Liberty's 15-under par 849 (282-282-285).

The Flames' 849 was the team's second-lowest, 54-hole total in program history, besting Liberty's 860 at the Rutherford Intercollegiate in 2003 as the program's previous second-best, 54-hole total. The program record is an 837, which Liberty shot at the JMU Invitational in 2005.

Robert Karlsson, who entered the day in a three-way deadlock for first place, could not keep up with the tournament's low scoring numbers (39 total rounds under 70), and fired a final round one-under par 71, to finish in a tie for fifth place at 12-under par 204 (65-68-71).

Chris Watters finished third on the Flames' scorecard, as the junior finished tied for 39th place with a four-over par 220 (75-73-72).

Rounding out Liberty's golfers were Preston Dembowiak, who finished tied for 49th place with a nine-over par 225 (76-73-76), and Stephen Dooley, who ended the event tied for 54th place with an 11-over par 227 (74-76-77).

Jordan Frye, who was competing as an individual, finished in a tie for 23rd place with a one-under par 215 (71-74-70). The 215 was the lowest 54-hole total of the sophomore's career at Liberty.

Three rounds will go into the Flames' record books following this event, as McKay's three-round 202 is tied for the best 54-hole total in program history. The freshman now shares the honor with Andrew Turner, who fired a 202 at the JMU Invitational in 2005.

McKay's final round 66 is tied for the fifth-best, 18-hole total in program history, matching a pair of 66s fired by Turner. Finally, Karlsson's opening round seven-under par 65 is tied for the third-best, 18-hole total in the program's record book, as Justin Jennings also hit the mark at the UTC Invitational in 1995.

The event brings to a close one of the most successful fall campaigns in program history. Liberty finished fourth or better during three team events, including a team title at the Davidson College Invitational during October.

Individually, Liberty had seven Top 5 finishes during four events, paced by Dembowiak's runner-up finish at the season-opening Manor Intercollegiate, where the junior fell in a playoff.

The Flames will return to action just after the New Year when the team travels to Wallace, N.C., to participate in the UNC Wilmington River Landing Intercollegiate. The two-day, 54-hole event will be contested on Jan. 2 and 3 at the River Landing Golf Club.