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LU No. 2 Seed at Big South Golf Championship

April 17, 2010
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Preston Dembowiak finished sixth at the 2009 Big South Men's Golf Championships, helping the Flames to a runner-up finish.

Preston Dembowiak finished sixth at the 2009 Big South Men's Golf Championships, helping the Flames to a runner-up finish.

Thanks to their best regular-season performances in program history, the Flames will enter next week's Big South Men's Golf Championship as the No. 2 seeded team in the eight-team field.

The event, which will be hosted at The Patriot Club at Grand Harbor in Ninety-Six, S.C. for the fifth time in six years, starts with 18 holes of competition on Monday. Play will continue with 18 additional holes on Tuesday and Wednesday on the par 72, 7,079 yard course where the team champion will walk away with the Big South's title and automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.

At last year's event, the Flames were led by Preston Dembowiak, when the Summerfield, N.C., native posted the best outing during the first two years of his collegiate career and helped Liberty finish as the league's runner-up for the first time in program history.

On the same The Patriot Club course, Dembowiak fired a 10-over par 226 (76-73-77) to finish in a tie for sixth place, helping him earn Big South all-conference honors. 2009 Big South Freshman of the Year Robert Karlsson followed behind him, carding a 15-over par 231 (80-75-76) to take a share of 12th place.

Coastal Carolina continued its stranglehold on the Big South men's golf title, as the Chanticleers won their sixth-straight league championship and 12th in conference history.

2009 Big South Golfer of the Year Zack Byrd finished three shots clear of the field with a five-over par 221 (75-67-79) and the other four golfers on Coastal Carolina's roster each finished inside the Top 6.

Coastal Carolina finished the three-day event with a 27-over par 891 (297-286-308), while the Flames followed in second place by posting a 58-over par 922 (318-294-310). The final ranking was the best in program history at the conference event, bettering a third-place finish at the Colonial Charters Country Club in 1992 and at The Patriot Club in 2005.

This year's Big South Men's Golf Championship pits the Flames and the Chanticleers once again as the top two programs; however, Liberty's strong regular-season showing has the Flames right on the heels of the Chanticleers.

Coming into the week, Coastal Carolina currently ranks No. 70 in the latest Golfweek collegiate team rankings, followed closely behind by Liberty at No. 85. The next best program in the Big South is Charleston Southern, who is ranked No. 125 and will be seeded No. 3 in next week's league championship event.

Individually, there are four golfers currently ranked inside the Golfstat weekly rankings, with two being on Liberty's roster. Freshman Max McKay is the top ranking Big South golfer at No. 90, while his teammate Karlsson is listed at No. 233. Coastal Carolina's Dan Obremski is ranked No. 186, while Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day is listed at No. 176.

The quartet is the four top golfers in the Big South coming into the event, as shown by their season stroke averages.

Day leads the Big South with a 72.81 stroke average, followed closely behind by McKay's 72.85 stroke average. Karlsson will enter the Big South event with a 72.89 stroke average, while Obremski ranks fourth in the league with a 73.37 stroke average.

Coastal Carolina has four of its five starters listed inside the Big South's Top 20 scoring leaders, while the Flames have three golfers in the listing. After McKay and Karlsson, Dembowiak rounds out Liberty's trio, as he ranks No. 16 with a 75.22 season mark.

The Patriot Club is hosting the Big South Men's Golf Championship for the fifth time in six years, as the course hosted the event in 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2009.

The 2010 Big South Men's Golf Championship begins this weekend with a practice round on Sunday, April 18. The three-day, 54-hole event will be played April 19-21 and is free and open to the public.

The Big South Conference championship schedule is as follows:

Sunday, April 18 (11 a.m.) - Practice Round

Monday, April 19 (8 a.m.) - First Round
8:00 - 8:40 a.m. – No. 7 High Point, Presbyterian College
8:50 - 9:30 a.m. – No. 4 Gardner-Webb, No. 5 Winthrop, No. 6 Radford
9:40 - 10:20 a.m. – No. 1 Coastal Carolina, No. 2 Liberty, No. 3 Charleston Southern

Tuesday, April 20 (8 a.m.) - Second Round

Wednesday, April 21 (8 a.m.) - Final Round

Meanwhile, the Big South Conference will announce half of its 2010 all-conference team, which is based on regular-season performance, and the All-Academic Team on Sunday evening following the practice round. The 2010 annual award winners, as well as the remaining all-conference performers based on conference championship finish, will be announced on Wednesday during the post-championship awards ceremony.