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Golfers Succeed At Recent Amateur Events

July 4, 2011
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Recent graduate Preston Dembowiak is just one of several Flames that have found success on the golf course in various amateur golf tournaments this summer.

Although the Flames wrapped up their third trip in program history to the NCAA Regionals several weeks ago, Liberty's golfers have continued to circle the golf links around the world in numerous prestigious amateur events.

Last Friday, recent graduate Preston Dembowiak finished up an impressive run at the 111th Men's North & South Amateur Championship, an event contested at the famed Pinehurst No. 2 course in Pinehurst, N.C.

Dembowiak, who was seeded No. 37 in the field of 64 golfers, posted upset victories over No. 28 seed Payne Griewek (4-and-2) and No. 21 seed Jonathan Pannone (1 up) to advance to the quarterfinals in the match-play event.

The 2011 Big South Championship medalist took an early lead over No. 4 seed Brad Benjamin, but saw his tournament run come to a close on the back nine where he would eventually lose 3-and-2.

Rising junior Max McKay also found himself in match-play competition last week, as the Jacksonville, Fla., native advanced to the Round of 64 at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championships.

Playing at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore., McKay carded a five-over par 152 during 36 holes of stroke play. Following a stroke-play playoff, McKay found himself pitted against No. 2 seed Jonathan Randolph in the opening round of match play.

The former Ole Miss golfer, who finished the year ranked No. 56 in the country by Golfweek, opened up a sizeable lead midway through the back nine. McKay tried to fight back by winning holes No. 13 and 14, but the pair halved the par-4, 406-yard No. 15 hole for Randolph to seal the 4-and-3 victory.

Additionally, Liberty had two representatives at the 94th Florida Amateur Championship, which was played at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa in Miami, Fla., June 23-26.

Two rounds of competition were played at the Jim McLean's Signature Course, while an additional 36 holes were played at the famed TPC Blue Monster Course, which annually hosts the World Golf Championships – Cadillac Championship each March.

Chase Marinell, who was named the 2011 Big South Freshman of the Year, opened the event strong with a one-under par 70 on the Jim McLean-trek. He closed with rounds of 73, 75 and 73 during the final three days competition to finish tied for 12th place with a five-over par 291.

Fellow first-year player Ian McConnell also played in the four-day event, where he finished tied for 21st place with a seven-over par 293. The rising sophomore opened with a five-over par 77 on the first day, but rebounded during the last three days. He posted a two-under par 70 during the third round, which was played at the TPC Doral Blue Monster Course.

Amateur competition will continue for the Flames this week when two-time Big South Golfer of the Year Robert Karlsson will help represent his native country, Sweden, at the European Amateur Team Championship. The five-day event will be contested at the Victoria Golf Club in Algarve, Portugal, with stroke play slated to being on Tuesday.