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Flames Finish JU Invitational Tied for Fifth
The 15-team field was called back to the TPC at Sawgrass PLAYERS Stadium Course early Tuesday morning to resume play, after darkness halted the second round late on Monday on the par-72, 7,122-yard track.
After opening the event with a 27-over par 315 during the morning flight on Monday, Liberty carded the seventh-best round of the event, posted a 13-over 301 to climb up to fifth place heading into the final 18 holes of action.
The Flames continued to find success on the PGA Tour stop on Tuesday, posting the fourth-best final round with a 16-over par 304. Liberty (315-301-304) ended up sharing fifth place with fellow Big South member Charleston Southern (311-309-300), as both squads finished the event with a 56-over par 920.
Thanks to a three-over par 291 second round, No. 39 East Tennessee State was able to put itself in position to capture the team title. The Buccaneers posted a 29-over par 893 (303-291-299), finishing seven strokes ahead of No. 34 Wake Forest, who ranked second with a 36-over par 900 (308-294-298).
The Demon Deacons just edged out No. 23 Clemson, as the Tigers posted a three-day total of 37-over par 901 (298-295-308). East Carolina was the last team to finish above the Flames, as the Pirates tallied a 52-over par 916 (307-304-305).
Wake Forest's Brendan Glelow birdied two out of the last three holes, including one on the famous par-3, 128-yard No. 17 island green on the PLAYERS Stadium course, to secure individual medalist honors.
Glelow completed the event with a two-over par 218 (76-69-73), finishing just ahead of Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day, who posted a three-over par 219 (73-75-71).
Liberty's top golfer in the event was Max McKay, as the freshman continued to learn from his opening round and climb up the leaderboard. After carding a five-over par 77 to open play on Monday, the rookie finished the second round with a four-over par 76 and a one-under par 71 during the final 18 holes.
The hometown favorite, who hails from nearby Jacksonville, Fla., recorded four birdies during the third round to share eighth place with Clemson's Crawford Reeves (77-69-78), as both golfers finished at an eight-over par 224. McKay's 71 on Tuesday was the third-best round during the final 18 holes of competition.
Robert Karlsson was next on Liberty's list, as the sophomore finished tied for 15th place with a 12-over par 228 (75-76-77), followed by Preston Dembowiak's 32nd-place finish at a 19-over par 235 (83-73-79).
Stephen Dooley finished just behind Dembowiak in a share of 35th place with a 21-over par 237 (81-76-80), while Chris Watters founded out Liberty's starting five in a tie for 54th place with a 26-over par 242 (82-83-77).
The Flames will have the next two weeks off before they head to their second-straight PGA Tour stop, as Liberty is slated to participate in the Mardi Gras Invitational on Feb. 22 and 23. New Orleans is hosting the two-day, 54-hole event on the TPC Louisiana course in New Orleans, La., which annually hosts the PGA Tour's Zurich Classic of New Orleans.