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Liberty Stands in Second after Day One at ODU
Liberty was one of three teams that distanced itself from the rest of the 18-team field and stands in second place following the first day of action at the ODU/OuterBanks Collegiate Golf Tournament.
The Flames, who are currently ranked No. 41 in the latest Golfweek national rankings, fired a 12-under par 276, their second-best 18-hole total of the fall season.
Liberty trails East Carolina, who ranks No. 66 according to Golfweek, by six shots, as the Pirates opened the three-day event with an 18-under par 270. Richmond, the last Top 100 program in the field at No. 85, stands in third place after a 10-under par 278.
Liberty's Max McKay and East Carolina's Harold Varner find themselves tied atop the leaderboard in the 93-man field, as the pair of golfers fired seven-under par rounds of 65.
McKay, who carded his best round of the fall and tied a career-low round, opened with a birdie on the par-4, No. 10 hole and made the turn at five-under par, thanks to an eagle at the par-5, No. 16 hole. After birdying three of the first four holes on his back nine, the sophomore stood at eight-under par. He followed with four-straight pars and a closing bogey on his last hole, the par-5, No. 9, to finish the day tied with Varner.
Robert Karlsson, who is the top ranked individual golfer in the field at No. 99 according to GolfStat, currently is tied for sixth following a four-under par 68. The junior was one of the leaders in the field with seven birdies on the day, but a bogey on the par-4, No. 6 hole and a double bogey on the par-5, No. 16 hole cost the reigning Big South Golfer of the Year three shots.
Stephen Dooley was able to overcome a tough start to find red numbers for the second-straight event. The senior posted a triple bogey on his second hole, the par-3, No. 11 hole to quickly fall behind. However, he rebounded with birdies on four of his next nine holes and closed with an eagle on the No. 9 hole to finish at two-under par 70, good enough for a share of 17th place.
Liberty's final two golfers in the field were freshmen Chase Marinell and Ian McConnell, who are tied for 38th and 64th place respectively.
Marinell finished up with a one-over par 71, offsetting four bogeys with three birdies on the day. McConnell, fresh of his win at the Richmond Invitational, only posted five pars during the round, as he carded five birdies, seven bogeys and a double bogey to post a four-over par 76.
The Flames will return to the par-72, 6,535 yard Kilmarlic Golf Club tomorrow morning for the middle round of their final fall event.