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Flames Take Seventh Place at River Landing
Liberty's 283, its best round of the 54-hole event and third-best, 18-hole total of the year, helped the Flames climb one spot up the leaderboard from yesterday.
The Flames struggled during the opening 18 holes, carding a 12-over par 300. However, Liberty quickly responded and shaved 15 strokes off its morning flight total with a three-under par 285 during the afternoon, aiding in the Flames jumping up four spots on the team leaderboard.
The only team to best the Flames' five-under par in Saturday morning's final round, was eventual team champion and co-host UNC Wilmington.
The Seahawks, the top-ranked program in the 13-team field with a No. 59 Golfweek team ranking, finished one shot ahead of the Flames on Saturday and two total shots ahead of No. 66 North Carolina to capture the team trophy.
UNC Wilmington finished the two-day event with a 17-under par 847 (283-282-282), followed directly by North Carolina's 15-under par 849 (286-279-284). The pair of programs entered the day tied atop the leaderboard, but the Seahawks found the clubhouse in two less strokes than the Tar Heels on Saturday.
Rounding out the programs who finished ahead of the Flames were No. 70 East Carolina, who finished with a five-under par 859 (285-288-286) for third place, followed by fourth-place Wofford with a three-under par 861 (284-287-290) to close out the field's under-par programs.
No. 63 VCU and Maryland finished one spot ahead of the Flames in a share of fifth place at two-over par 866. The Terrapins (295-286-285) followed the Flames' example and posted improved rounds each time out, including Saturday morning's round that allowed them to climb into a tie with the Rams (287-292-287).
East Carolina's David Watkins tied for the best round of the day, enabling the Pirate golfer to just finish just ahead of first-day leader Josh Brock from UNC Wilmington and take home individual medalist honors.
Watkins used five birdies and an eagle to help him fire a five-under par 67 closing round to finish the tournament with a nine-under par 207 (71-69-67).
Brock finished one shot behind Watkins with an eight-under par 208 (69-69-70), followed by North Carolina's Henry Zaytoun, who finished in third place with a six-under par 210 (71-68-71).
Tying Watkins for the best round of the day was Liberty's Jordan Frye, who also fired a five-under par 67 on Saturday and finished the event in a three-way tie for sixth place.
Frye's 67 is the lowest round of the sophomore's career and is the fourth-lowest individual round of the 2009-10 season for the Flames. Frye finished the event with a four-under par 212 (75-70-67), marking a new 54-hole low for the golfer. He shared sixth place with Michigan State's Jack Newman (73-70-69) and UNC Wilmington's Ryan Sullivan (73-67-72).
Robert Karlsson was next on Liberty's list of golfers, as the Swede finished the event with a one-under par 215 (73-72-70) in a tie for 15th place.
Max McKay, Liberty's top golfer coming into the event with a team-best 72.8 stroke average, finished tied for 28th place with four-over par 220 (76-70-74). The 28th-place finish is the rookie's highest of the spring season and tied for his second highest since joining the program.
Liberty's last two golfers to count toward the program's team score were Preston Dembowiak (76-73-74) and Stephen Dooley (76-75-72), who both tied for 41st place with a seven-over par 223.
The Flames also had three golfers competing as individuals, and the trio was led by Chris Waters, who tied for 63rd place with a 13-over par 229 (76-74-79). Andrew Nelson finished in 73rd place with 20-over par 236 (78-76-82) and Jacob Singleton finished in 76th place with a 26-over par 242 (77-78-87).
The River Landing Intercollegiate marks the final tune-up for the Flames before Liberty travels to Ninety-Six, S.C., to compete in the 2010 Big South Men's Golf Championship on April 19-21.
Last year, the Flames finished second to league champion Coastal Carolina at the same The Patriot Club golf course this year's event will be hosted at. The second-place finish was the best in the program's history since joining the league in 1992.
Liberty and Coastal Carolina are the top two ranked programs in the Big South, according to the latest Golfweek team rankings. The Chanticleers currently rank No. 65, while the Flames are listed at No. 79.
Liberty has the only two Big South golfers currently listed in the Top 250 individual golfers, as listed by Golfstat, the same list that is used to determine at-large bids into the NCAA Regionals. McKay currently ranks No. 60, while Karlsson is listed at No. 245.