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Flames Finish Spring Opener Tied for Third
North Florida was able to outlast Liberty and Jacksonville State in a three-team race for second place during the final round of the JU Invitational.
The Ospreys finished three shots clear of Liberty and Jacksonville State, who shared third place following 54 holes of competition at the renowned TPC – Sawgrass Stadium Course, site the PGA's THE PLAYERS Championship each May.
Florida, the nation's top ranked team, finished with a 25-stroke advantage over North Florida, as the Gators posted a six-under par 858 (286-283-289).
North Florida took second place with a 19-over par 883 (300-286-297), followed by Liberty (300-290-296) and Jacksonville State (294-298-294), who both recorded two-day aggregate scores of 22-over par 886.
No. 42 Liberty finished directly ahead of the three remaining ranked programs in the 15-team field. No. 40 Clemson finished fifth with a 24-over par 888 (303-297-288), followed by No. 21 Wake Forest, who was in sixth place with a 30-over par 894 (301-296-297) and No. 43 East Carolina, who finished seventh with a 38-over par 902 (305-298-299).
Liberty's Robert Karlsson, one of nine individually ranked golfers in the 75-man field, tied for the low round on Tuesday, as the junior carded a three-under par 69 on his closing 18 holes.
The red-figure number, his 16th career sub-70 round and the fifth of the season, helped catapult the No. 89 ranked golfer into second place with a three-under par 213 (72-72-69). Karlsson carded four birdies and one bogey during his final round, including a birdie three on the closing par-4 No. 18 hole.
The lone golfer to best Karlsson at the event was Florida's Bank Vongvanij, who is the nation's top ranked golfer. The senior captured his second medalist honor of the season, as he was able to fend off Karlsson's third round charge and post a five-under par 211 (69-69-73).
Six of the next seven golfers to follow Karlsson and Vongvanij in the final tournament standings where ranked, with each golfers coming into the week ranking higher than Karlsson.
No. 18 Evan Beck of Wake Forest, finished tied for fifth with a one-under par 215 (71-70-74) and No. 20 Tyler McCumber of Florida, finished tied for eighth with a one-over par 217 (73-72-72).
Also helping the Flames to their share of third place in the tournament, was Preston Dembowiak, who finished tied for 24th place with a 10-over par 226 (77-74-75), while Max McKay (75-76-76) and Stephen Dooley (78-68-81) shared 28th place with an 11-over par 227.
Andrew Colvin rounded out Liberty's golfers in his first time in coach Jeff Thomas' starting lineup, as the sophomore finished tied for 38th place with a 14-over 230 (76-78-76).
The Flames will have nearly a month off until they return to the golf links on Feb. 28 and March 1 to participate in the Seahawk Intercollegiate, hosted by UNC Wilmington.
The 54-hole event will be contested at the Country Club of Landfall in Wilmington, N.C., which contains 27 championship holes designed by 18-time major winner Jack Nicklaus and an additional 18-hole course crafted by famed golf course designer Pete Dye.