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Flames Take Second Place at River Landing
Only two teams moved places on the Saturday leaderboard, and unfortunately for the Flames, Liberty was one of the two, as the team slid down to second place during the final round of the River Landing Intercollegiate.
No. 32 Liberty held the clubhouse lead after 36 holes, following two of Liberty's top five 18-hole totals this season that led to a combined 21-under par. However, Liberty could not keep up the same pace on Saturday, carding a one-over par 289.
The Flames finished the 54-hole event with a 20-under par 844 (278-277-289), the team's lowest score of the season and second lowest in program history.
Host East Carolina, ranked No. 51 in the country, took the team trophy, carding a 23-under par 841 (283-278-280).
The next two teams to follow the Flames and Pirates on the 14-team leaderboard were No. 74 Memphis, who took third place with a 16-under par 848 (275-292-281), and No. 57 UNC Wilmington, who finished in fourth place with an eight-under par 856 (289-285-282).
Liberty did manage to finish ahead of the two programs that came into the weekend event ranked higher than the Flames in the latest Golfstat team rankings.
No. 22 N.C. State finished in fifth place, as the Wolfpack carded a five-under par 859 (291-284-284). Virginia, the top ranked team in the field at No. 19, managed to finish in seventh place with a six-over par 870 (289-292-289).
The Cavaliers played without their top-ranked golfer, as Virginia's Ben Kohles, who is ranked No. 20 in the country, was not among the team's starting five at the par-72, 6,898-yard North Carolina coastal trek.
First-round leader Josh Brock of UNC Wilmington managed to post his third-straight sub-70 round of golf to fend off a charging No. 36 Albin Choi of North Carolina.
Brock carded a four-under par 68 to take individual medalist honors with a 15-under par 201 (66-67-68). Choi, who was the top-ranked golfer to play in the 81-man field, finished second with a 13-under par 203 (69-68-66), despite the low round on Saturday.
Robert Karlsson was Liberty's top finisher, as the No. 44-ranked golfer posted a seven-under par 209 (68-71-70) to share fourth place with Lamar's Kevin Hesbois (69-70-70). For Karlsson, it was his sixth top five finish of the season and was the junior's lowest score relative to par this season.
Max McKay followed up yesterday's six-under par 66 with a one-over par 73 and slipped into a share of seventh place. The sophomore did manage to finish in red figures for the third straight tournament, carding a five-under par 211 (72-66-73).
Chase Marinell finished in a three-way tie for 14th place with a two-under par 214 (68-71-75), allowing Marinell to match McKay with three tournaments in a row below par.
Preston Dembowiak fell down the leaderboard after he carded his highest 18-hole total of the spring season (79) and finished the two-day event tied for 22nd place with a two-over par 218 (70-69-79).
Niklas Lindstrom carded his second-lowest 18-hole total since joining the Flames roster in the fall. The freshman carded a one-under par 71 and finished tied for 56th place with a nine-over par 225 (77-77-71).
Head coach Jeff Thomas brought along with him two additional golfers, who competed as individuals. Chris Watters finished tied for 43rd place with a seven-over par 223 (71-76-76) and Jordan Frye finished tied for 59th place with a 10-over par 226 (76-72-78).
The Flames will now prepare for their most important team event of the season, as Liberty will return to action at the 2011 Big South Men's Golf Championship, April 18-20 in Ninety-Six, S.C.
The victor at the three-day, 54-hole event, which will be contested at The Patriot Golf Club, will receive the Big South's automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals.