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Flames Hold First Day Lead at River Landing
No. 32 Liberty carded back-to-back, double-digit, sub-par rounds of golf, allowing Liberty to claim the first day lead at the River Landing Intercollegiate following 36 holes of action on Friday.
Liberty stands atop the 14-team leaderboard with a 21-under par 555 (278-227). Liberty's opening 10-under par 278 and closing 11-under par 277 rank as the Flames fifth and fourth best 18-hole team totals this season.
The Flames hold a six-stroke edge over host East Carolina. The No. 51 ranked Pirates stand in second place with a 15-under par 561 (283-278) on the par-72, 6,898-yard River Landing Golf Club.
First-round leader Memphis opened with a 13-under par 275, but the Tigers could not keep up the torrent pace and stand in third place with a nine-under par 567 (275-292).
Two programs came into the weekend event ranked higher than the Flames in the latest Golfstat team rankings, but each trail the Flames by 20 strokes or more in the team standings.
No. 22 N.C. State is in fifth place with a one-under par 575 (291-284), while No. 19 Virginia stands in seventh place with a five-over par 581 (289-292).
UNC Wilmington's Josh Brock holds a commanding four-stroke lead over all players in the 81-man field. Brock nearly fired identical rounds of golf on Friday and enters tomorrow's final 18 hole of competition in first place after an 11-under par 133 (66-67).
N.C. State's Albin Chio (69-68), the top-ranked individual golfer in the field at No. 36, and East Carolina's David Watkins (69-68) mirrored each other on Friday and are tied for second place with a seven-under par 137.
Liberty's Max McKay (72-66) and Virginia's Bruce Woodall (70-68) share fourth place with a six-under par 138. McKay's six-under par 66 was his second-best 18-hole total of the season and is tied for the third-best round of golf of the sophomore's collegiate career.
Three Liberty golfers follow just one shot behind their teammate and share sixth place with a five-under par 139.
Robert Karlsson (68-71), who is ranked No. 44 in the country, is tied with fellow ranked Flames' No. 197 Preston Dembowiak (70-69) and No. 205 Chase Marinell (68-71).
Marinell's opening round four-under par 68 was the best 18-hole total of the freshman's collegiate career, while Dembowiak fired his fifth sub-70 round of golf this season with a second-round three-under par 69.
Three other Flames are competing in the event. Niklas Lindstrom, who is playing as a part of head coach Jeff Thomas' starting five, is tied for 77th place with a 10-over par 154 (77-77).
Chris Watters is tied for 36th place following a three-over par 147 (71-76), while Jordan Frye is tied for 44th place with a four-over par 148 (76-72).
Liberty will return to the River Landing Golf Course, tomorrow morning, for final round action. The Flames will be vying for their first team title since taking the title at the Davidson College Invitational during the 2009-10 season.