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Flames Split Two to Open Match Play Championship

March 18, 2012
|  Bradenton, Fla.
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Chase Marinell's approach stop on the par 5 No. 7 hole during his 3-and-2 victory over UNC Wilmington's Ryan Nagy.

Updated 2012 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship bracket

No. 7 seed Liberty posted a 1-1 record during opening day rounds at the 2012 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship on Sunday.

The Flames fell to No. 10 seed Tennessee during the morning flight, but rebounded with a victory over No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington during its second trip around The Concession Golf Club.

Liberty's Robert Karlsson and Chase Marinell paced the Flames on the day, with the pair of golfers securing 2-0 records to start the three-day match play event. Liberty's other victor on the day was Niklas Lindstrom, whose win secured Liberty's victory over UNC Wilmington.

The 16-team bracket event features 11 Top 50 programs in the country. The four teams that remained in the winner's bracket following 36 holes of competition on Sunday are No. 1 seed Arkansas, who will face No. 5 seed Chattanooga, while No. 2 seed California will square off against No. 3 seed Duke in the second championship semifinal matchup.

Four of the Flames' five matchups during their morning 3-and-2 loss to No. 10 seed Tennessee were by sizeable margins.

Karlsson secured Liberty's second victory with a 3-and-1 win over his playing partner Garrick Porteous, while Marinell was Liberty's first winner on the day with a 4-and-3 win over Brandon Rodgers.

Both Max McKay and Lindstrom fell 4-and-3 to Rick Lamb and Marshall Talkington, respectively. The only match that went the distance was Ian McConnell's match against Jay Vandeventer, who defeated McConnell, 1 up. McConnell had a chance to square the match on his final hole, the par-4, No. 9, but his 18-foot birdie try just slid by the hole.

Karlsson quickly jumped out to a lead on Porteous, as his Tennessee playing partner struggled early on a pair of par 3 holes to allow Karlsson to take a 2 up lead after five holes.

Porteous was able to get one back with a birdie on the par 5 No. 17 hole to pull with one. The margin remained the same for eight straight holes, until Karlsson spun a wedge shot from 45 yards out within four feet on the par 5 No. 7 hole and he was able to convert the birdie putt.

Karlsson, who is familiar with match play after playing in last year's Palmer Cup event, sealed the victory with a solid approach on the sloping No. 8 green and a two putt for victory.

During the afternoon rounds, Liberty was pitted against No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington, which the Flames were able to secure the victory, 3-and-2.

Marinell was once again the big winner, defeating Ryan Nagy, 3-and-2. Liberty's other victors won 2 up, with Karlsson downing Thomas Bass and Lindstrom defeating Patrick Sawrey by the two-stroke margin.

Linstrom was the final Flame on the course and used a late surge, including a victory on his final hole, the par 4 No. 12, to wrap up Liberty's overall team win over the Seahawks.

McConnell and McKay suffered the losses for the Flames to drop to 0-2 in the event. McConnell fell 4-and-3 to Payne McLeod, with McKay falling 3-and-2 to Stefan Brewer.

After starting on the par 4 No. 11 hole, Marinell's first hole won came in a peculiar fashion. The reigning Big South Freshman of the Year pulled his tee shot left and placed it on the bank on the small lake. Having to take his shoes and socks off to stand in the water for his next stroke, Marinell was eventually able to savage a bogey. Nagy looked like he might win the hole, but his approach shot went off the back of the green into a swale and he carded a double bogey.

After a birdie by Nagy on the next hole that squared the match, Marinell reeled off back-to-back hole wins to go 2 up after six holes of play.

Nagy was able to trim Marinell's lead in half after he pulled his drive well left off the tee at No. 18 and posted a double bogey.

However, Marinell widened his lead to 3 up after winning the par 5 No. 3 hole and the par 3 No. 4 hole. Five straight halved holes followed, including a nicely spun back shot on No. 8 to secure his second victory of the day.

The Flames will return to the par 72, 7,474-yard Jack Nicklaus designed golf course tomorrow where they will square off against No. 14 seed Arizona State. A shot gun start will send all the golfers out at 8:30 a.m.

First Round
No. 10 seed Tennessee def. No. 7 seed Liberty, 3-and-2

Karlsson (LU) def. Porteous (UT), 3-and-1
Vandeventer (UT) def. McConnell (LU), 1 up
Marinell (LU) def. Rodgers (UT), 4-and-3
Lamb (UT) def. McKay (LU), 4-and-3
Talkington (UT) def. Lindstrom (LU), 4-and-3

Second Round
No. 7 seed Liberty def. No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington, 3-and-2

Karlsson (LU) def. Bass (UNCW), 2 up
McLeod (UNCW) def. McConnell (LU), 4-and-3
Marinell (LU) def. Nagy (UNCW), 3-and-2
Brewer (UNCW) def. McKay (LU), 3-and-2
Lindstrom (LU) def. Sawrey (UNCW), 2 up

Third Round
No. 7 seed Liberty vs. No. 14 seed Arizona State

Karlsson (LU) vs. Fletcher (ASU)
McConnell (LU) vs. Schjoelberg (ASU)
Marinell (LU) vs. Gautier (ASU)
McKay (LU) vs. Quick (ASU)
Lindstrom (LU) vs. Palmer (ASU)