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Liberty Takes Second Place at SeaBest Seafood Invitational

January 31, 2012
|  Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
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Chase Marinell tied for Liberty's low round during the final 18 holes of play at the 2012 SeaBest Seafood Invitational.

The Flames tried to make a charge at first-day leader Florida with a successful start to the final round of the 2012 SeaBest Seafood Invitational.

However, Liberty could not keep up the pace during the second half of its round, allowing the Gators to take the team title at the Jacksonville-hosted event for the second year in row.

Liberty, who entered the event ranked No. 30 by Golfweek and No. 36 by Golfstat, charged out of the gates and stood at even par through seven holes on the TPC Sawgress Stadium Course. However, the Flames dropped back during the remaining 11 holes and allowed No. 37/34 Florida to secure a 15-stroke victory.

The Gators finished atop the 13-team leaderboard with a 20-over par 884 (303-284-297), followed by Liberty's 35-over par 899 (301-297-301).

North Florida, the top-rated team in the field coming into the week at No. 5/7, finished in third place with a 38-over par 902 (301-304-297).

The final Top 50 team in the field was No. 44/41 East Carolina, who finished the 54-hole event in fourth place with a 45-over par 909 (317-296-296).

A pair of Big South programs finished among those contenting for the title on the home course of the PGA Tour and annual host to THE PLAYERS Championships each May.

Coastal Carolina finished in fifth place with a 47-over par 911 (315-294-302) and Charleston Southern placed 10th with a 62-over par 926 (315-312-299).

First-day leader T.J. Vogel posted his highest score of the tournament with a two-over par 74 during his closing round, but the cushion he had built secured individual medalists honors for the top Florida golfer. He finished first in the 69-man field with an even par 216 (73-69-74).

Robert Karlsson continued to pace the way for the Flames, posting his second straight Top 5 finish at the opening event of Liberty's spring schedule.

Karlsson (75-70-74) carded a two-over par 74 on Tuesday and shared fourth place with North Florida's Kevin Aylwin (73-76-70) and Jacksonville's Jamey Salmon (73-73-73), who each finished the event with a three-over par 219.

Karlsson looked like he might make a run at the individual title, as he was one-under through 14 holes of play. However, a double bogey on the par-4 No. 15 and a bogey on the closing 18th hole dropped him back to two-over for the day.

The Flames were one of three teams in the field to have a pair of Top 10 finishers, as Ian McConnell finished tied for ninth place with a six-over par 222 (71-75-76).

The sophomore was one of several Flames to get off to a solid start at one-under through five holes, but bogeys on five of the last four holes on both front and back nines dropped him back to four-over for the day.

After getting off to a rough start on Monday, Chase Marinell posted back-to-back improved rounds of golf to climb to a share of 25th place with a 14-over par 230 (81-75-74).

Last year's Big South Freshman of the Year overcame an opening bogey on the first hole and was one-over through 12 holes. But, he dropped shots on consecutive holes before closing with a birdie on the home hole to set for a closing round two-over par 74.

Liberty's final two golfers in the field both carded identical scores on Tuesday, with both finishing the final round with a five-over par 77.

A birdie on the par-5 No. 11 hole got Niklas Lindstrom back to two-over on the day, but the sophomore followed with bogeys on No. 13, 14, 15 and 18 and a birdie on No. 16 to finish the event tied for 28th place with a 15-over par 231 (76-78-77).

Max McKay, who hails from nearby Jacksonville, Fla., tried to recover from a tough start, when a birdie on the par-4 No. 11 hole got him back to three-over. However, the junior carded his fifth and sixth over-par scores of the day on No. 13 and 18 to finish the tournament tied for 35th place with a 17-over par 233 (79-77-77).

The Flames will have the next week and half to prepare for their next event, the SunTrust Gator Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole event will be hosted by Florida at the Mark Bostic Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.