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Flames Set for Big South Golf Championship
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Golfstat Live Scoring - Big South Championship
Following their best regular season in program history, the Liberty Flames now venture into postseason play, as the No. 1 seed in next week's Big South Men's Golf Championship, with play slated to open on Monday.
Liberty, currently ranked No. 31 in the country by Golfstat, is the top seed in the eight-team conference championship field. The victor at the three-day event will claim the Big South title and the automatic bid to the NCAA Regional.
The Flames have advanced to two NCAA Regionals in program history, 2003 and 2006, both times advancing as an at-large team.
Coastal Carolina, the No. 2 seed at the 54-hole event, has had a stranglehold on the conference crown for more than a decade. The Chanticleers have won the last seven titles and 12 out of the last 14 conference championships.
Charleston Southern, the No. 5 seed, is the lone team other than Coastal Carolina to win a title since 1997, doing so in 2001 and 2003.
The 54-hole event is being hosted by Radford at The Patriot Golf Club at Grand Harbor in Ninety Six, S.C. This is the sixth time in the last seven years The Patriot Golf Club has hosted the Big South Men's Golf Championship event (also 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010).
The Flames had their best showing in their last five trips to the Davis Love, III-designed golf course last year, when Liberty finished third at the 2010 Big South Golf Championship with a nine-over par 873. As a team, Liberty has posted a 301.7 stroke average at the trek that will play at a par 72 and 7,079 yards during this championship event.
Liberty's best team score at a Big South Championship event last year was due in large part to Robert Karlsson capturing medalist honors.
The reigning Big South Golfer of the year fired a seven-under par 209 (73-70-66) to finish two shots ahead of Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day (69-74-68-211). Karlsson became Liberty's second individual champion in program history, joining Yong Joo, who captured the 2000 title with a seven-under par 209.
Liberty will have four of the six nationally ranked golfers in the event field on its roster, led by Karlsson, who currently ranks No. 37 in the country.
Following behind Karlsson is freshman Chase Marinell (No. 196), senior Preston Dembowiak (No. 204) and sophomore Max McKay, who just broke into the Top 250 national golfers listing this week at No. 223.
McKay is the reigning Big South Freshman of the Year, who tied for fourth at last year's Big South Championship event with a one-over par 217 (78-69-70).
The other two nationally listed golfers at this year's event will be Charleston Southern's Jacobo Pastor, this week's Big South Golfer of the week, who ranks No. 156, and Coastal Carolina's Sebastian Soderberg, who ranks No. 209.
Liberty's most experienced player at the Big South Golf Championship will be Dembowiak, who will be teeing it up at the three-day event for the third and final time.
The senior has posted a 75.6 stroke average at the course and tied for sixth in 2009 with a 10-over par 226 (76-73-77), helping him earn all-conference honors. However, Dembowiak is having a banner senior season, as he ranks fifth in the Big South with a 73.3 stroke average, a mark that is nearly two strokes better than his career average entering the year.
For the second year in a row, live updates on Liberty's golfers will be provided on the Liberty Flames Twitter page, with the social media outlet following a different Flames golfer each day of the championship event.
Additionally, live scoring will be provided via Golfstat for the first time in Big South Men's Golf Championship history.
Liberty, along with No. 2 Coastal Carolina and No. 3 Radford, will take to the first tee on Monday at 9:40 a.m.
Liberty's Big South Golf Championship Results at The Patriot Golf Club:
2005 – Third place – 295-298-303-896 (+32)
2006 – Sixth place – 302-306-301-909 (+45)
2008 – Fifth place – 301-319-306-926 (+62)
2009 – Second place – 318-294-310-922 (+58)
2010 – Third place – 304-288-281-873 (+9)
Big South Men's Golf Championship
(Golfstat Team Rankings)
No. 5 seed Charleston Southern (No. 152)
No. 2 seed Coastal Carolina (No. 61)
No. 4 seed Gardner-Webb (No. 145)
No. 7 seed High Point (No. 208)
No. 1 seed Liberty (No. 31)
Presbyterian College (Not ranked – Invitation only at the event)
No. 3 seed Radford (No. 123)
No. 6 seed Winthrop (No. 150)
Potential Top 250 Individually Ranked Golfers in the Field
(Golfstat Individual Rankings)
No. 37 – Robert Karlsson (Liberty)
No. 156 – Jacobo Pastor (Charleston Southern)
No. 196 – Chase Marinell (Liberty)
No. 204 – Preston Dembowiak (Liberty)
No. 209 – Sebastian Soderberg (Coastal Carolina)
No. 233 – Max McKay (Liberty)
The Patriot Golf Club (Ninety Six, S.C.)
Par 72, 7,079 yards