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Flames Set to Return to Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate

March 4, 2012
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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For the third event in the last four tournaments, Liberty will return to a familiar golf course, as the Flames will tee it up alongside 17 other teams at the 15th annual Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate the next two days.

Liberty, currently ranked No. 31 by Golfweek and No. 33 by Golfstat, will be participating in the USC-Aiken hosted event for the fourth straight year.

The Flames have experienced a solid level of success at this event the past three years, dropping shots off their previous year's score each additional time around the par-70, 6,617-yard Palmetto Golf Club.

The Flames finished 2009 in second place with a 35-over par 875 (283-294-298), while finishing fourth in 2010 with a 29-over par 869 (283-283-303). Liberty was third at last year's event with a 22-over par 862 (285-284-293), giving the Flames a 289.56 stroke average during its last nine trips around the course.

The Palmetto Golf Club is the fourth oldest golf course in the country. The course opened in 1892 with four holes, where current holes No. 16, 17 and 18 and the current driving range now stand.

Tournament host USC-Aiken is the lone non-Division I program competing in the event. The Pacers are currently ranked No. 19 in the latest NCAA Division II Golfstat rankings and are led by junior Matt Atkins, who ranks No. 20 individually in the country with a 72.4 stroke average.

This year's field includes six programs currently ranked inside the Top 50 in either the latest Golfweek or Golfstat rankings.

Pacing the way is Clemson (No. 13/13), followed by Chattanooga (No. 25/26), Liberty (No. 31/33), Virginia (No. 35/28), Augusta State (No. 50/47) and East Carolina (No. 51/46).

Augusta State, who competes as a Division I program in men's golf, has won the past two NCAA men's golf national championship team titles.

Robert Karlsson will look to lead the Flames once again at this year's Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate, a course he holds a 70.00 stroke average at over the last three years.

Karlsson captured his first individual collegiate title at this event in 2009, posting a one-under par 209 (67-73-69) and winning by one stroke over Charleston Southern's Kelvin Day. Karlsson has played six of his nine career rounds at the Palmetto Golf Club at or below par.

Karlsson will once again be one of the top golfers in the 18-team field, as the senior moved up four spots in the latest Golfweek individual rankings to No. 23 this past week.

Only two other golfers at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate are ranked higher than Karlsson (Chattanooga's Stephan Jaeger/No. 8 and Clemson's Corbin Mills/No. 12) and the field includes a total of nine Top 125 ranked golfers.

Karlsson is not the only Flames golfer to have previous success at this event. Junior Max McKay comes into the event with a 72.83 career stroke average on the Palmetto Golf Club course, spotlighted by his 2010 showing where he finished tied for fourth place with an even par 210 (71-65-74).

Sophomore Chase Marinell found the par-70 course to his liking the first time he played it in 2011, finishing tied for 11th place with a four-over par 214 (70-71-73).

The 15th annual Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate with have a shotgun start on Monday at 8:30 a.m., kicking off 36 holes of competition. The final 18 holes will commence at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

15th Annual Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate Field
(Golfweek/Golfstat Team Rankings)
Akron (No. 110/108)
Augusta State (No. 50/47)
Chattanooga (No. 25/26)
Clemson (No. 13/13)
College of Charleston (No. 90/93)
East Carolina (No. 51/46)
Elon (No. 215/218)
Francis Marion (No. 164/167)
Furman (No. 118/113)
Georgia Southern (No. 82/83)
Liberty (No. 31/33)
Maryland (No. 100/97)
Presbyterian College (No. 175/NA)
South Carolina (No. 78/81)
South Carolina – Aiken (NA/No. 19 in Division II rankings)
Vanderbilt (No. 81/78)
Virginia (No. 35/28)
Wofford (No. 213/221)

Top 125 Individual Golfers in the Field
(Golfweek Individual Rankings)
No. 8 – Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga)
No. 12 – Corbin Mills (Clemson)
No. 23 – Robert Karlsson (Liberty)
No. 45 – Harold Varner (East Carolina)
No. 58 – Ben Kohles (Virginia)
No. 63 – Denny McCathy (Virginia)
No. 71 – McCuen Elmore (Clemson)
No. 121 – Charlie Bull (Akron)
No. 125 – Billy Kennerly (Clemson)

Course Information:
Palmetto Golf Club (Aiken, S.C.)
Par 70, 6,617 yards