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Flames in Third Place Following First Round

May 1, 2010
|  Charlottesville, Va.
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Robert Karlsson is tied for fifth place after firing a one-over par 73 during the opening round of the Cavalier Classic.

Robert Karlsson is tied for fifth place after firing a one-over par 73 during the opening round of the Cavalier Classic.

A strong closing back nine helped the Flames find themselves in third place following first day action at the Cavalier Classic, which is being hosted at the Birdwood Golf Course.

Tournament host Virginia, who is currently ranked No. 22 in the latest Golfweek team rankings, leads the 11-team field, as the Cavaliers battled the breezy conditions on the par-72, 6,875 yard course to card a three-over par 291.

Seton Hall is the only team that stands between the Flames and the Cavaliers, as the Pirates fired a nine-over par 297 during the opening 18 holes of competition.

Liberty, who is ranked No. 84 in the current Golfweek rankings, finished the opening day with a 10-over par 298. The Flames starting five found the last nine holes much more to their liking. Liberty was a combined six-over par on the closing nine, as compared to a 13-over par mark during the first nine of play.

Rounding out the top six teams in the field are No. 34 N.C. State, who fired a 15-over par 303, followed by Longwood and George Mason, who share fifth place after a 16-over par 304.

Brandon Park, who was recently named BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, was the lone golfer in the field of 69 to find red numbers. The rookie carded a three-under par 69 to hold the clubhouse lead heading into the final day's action on Sunday.

Park holds a three stroke leader over a trio of golfers at even par, including his fellow teammate Troy Spencer, along with Appalachian State's Casey Johnson and Virginia's Ben Kohles.

Liberty's Robert Karlsson share fifth place with four other Cavaliers golfers, as each carded a one-over par 73 on the day. Karlsson, who was named Big South Golfer of the Year last week, opened with a two-over par 38, but closed with a one-under par 35 on the back side to nearly level his day one scorecard back to even par.

The Flames next three golfers each followed one shot behind Karlsson in succession, helping Liberty to the 10-over par 298 on Saturday.

McKay, who was recently tabbed Big South Freshman of the Year, shares 10th place with 10 other golfers who finished the day with a two-over par 74. McKay opened with a two-over par 38 on the front nine, but was even on the back to finish the day just two shots over par.

Jordan Frye is tied with Maryland's John Popeck for 20th, as he fired a three-over par 75 (38-37), while Preston Dembowiak is tied for 22nd place with a four-over par 76 (37-39). Rounding out Liberty's starting five golfers is Stephen Dooley, who is tied for 53rd place with a nine-over par 81 (42-39).

The Flames also have a pair of individuals competing in the event, as Chris Watters (37-40) and Andrew Nelson (38-39) are tied for 28th place after firing a five-over par 77.

Liberty will be in the last group of golfers during tomorrow's final around action, as the Flames will tee off alongside Virginia and Seton Hall, starting at 9:40 a.m., off the first tee. The 18 holes will bring to a close Liberty's regular season slate for the 2009-10 season.