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LU Ranks Sixth after First Day at Big South
Last year, Liberty finished the opening round at the same course, the Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor, with a 30-over par 318. The following two rounds, the Flames rebounded from their opening 18 holes of completion to finish the three-day event in second place, marking a new program best.
Liberty will have to post a similar turnaround this year, as the Flames rank sixth out of seven team following a 16-over par 304 on Monday at the par-72, 7,079 yard course. The only team to shoot a higher score was Gardner-Webb, who carded a 26-over par 314.
Coastal Carolina, who has won the last six Big South men's golf titles, was the only program to finish in red numbers, as the No. 1 seeded Chanticleers fired a two-under par 286.
Following five strokes behind the Chanticleers is Winthrop, who shot a five-over par 291, while High Point finds itself in third after a nine-over par 297. Radford and Charleston Southern both carded a 10-over par 298 and share fourth place.
Presbyterian actually finished ahead of the Flames, with a 12-over par 300; however, the Blue Hose are not eligible for the team title, as they are still in their transition years to full-time NCAA Division I status.
Coastal Carolina's Dan Obremski leads the field of 35 golfers, as the Big South all-conference honoree fired a five-under par 67. Matt Sizemore was the low golfer of the day, as the Presbyterian golfer finished with a seven-under par 65, but just like the program, the Blue Hose individual golfers do not count in the individual standings.
Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day, also a Big South all-conference honoree, and High Point's D.J. Dougherty are tied for second after posting a three-under par 69.
Rounding out the top four golfers in the field is Winthrop's Jordan Sease, who finished with a two-under par 70. Behind Sease, were Coastal Carolina's Sam Lyons and Winthrop's Kamito Hirai to count for the final golfers to find red numbers on Monday.
Robert Karlsson was Liberty's top golfer on the day, as the Big South all-conference honoree finished in eighth place alongside Radford's Kyle Bailey and Coastal Carolina's Drew Ernst with a one-over par 73.
Karlsson opened the day with a double bogey on the par-4, No. 1 hole after having his tee shot slide out of bounds. However, the 2009 Big South Freshman of the Year used his prior experience at the event to rebound with four birdies, a bogey and a second double bogey on No. 16 to card his lowest career round at the Big South championship event.
Preston Dembowiak is one of eight golfers who finished with a three-over par 75 on the day and currently stands with a share of 11th place. The junior, who led the Flames at last year's event and earned Big South all-conference honors, had four birdies on the day.
Max McKay and Jordan Frye, a pair of newcomers to the event, both posted a six-over par 78 and are tied for 24th place.
McKay, a freshman who also earned Big South all-conference honors this year along with Karlsson, bogeyed three of his first four holes, but righted the ship with a birdie at the par-5, No. 5. However, the rookie carded a four-over par eight on the next hole and was never able to fully recover.
Frye, who is playing in his first Big South championship event as a sophomore, posted 12 pars to go along with six bogeys to fire the six-over par score on the day.
Stephen Dooley was Liberty's last golfer, who stands alone in 31st place after a nine-over par 81. The junior, who is also playing the Big South event for the first time, tied the highest individual round of the season for himself, as he was over par on seven of the first nine holes of his day.
The Flames struggled out of the gates, as Liberty finished the first nine a combined 18-over par for all five of its golfers. The last nine holes were much kinder to the Flames, as Liberty finished the back side at a combined seven-over par.
Liberty led the field on the day by shooting seven-under par on the par-5 holes, including three-under par on both holes No. 5 and 13. Liberty's nemesis on the day was the par-4 holes, as the Flames fired a tournament worst 27-over par on the four-shot holes.
Liberty, along with the other eight programs, will return to The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor tomorrow morning for the second of three rounds of golf.
The Flames, who came into the event as the No. 2 seed, will be in the second grouping, along with Radford and Charleston Southern. First to tee off for the Flames will be Dooley at 8:50 a.m., off of Hole No. 1.
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