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Linger Longer Invitational Awaits Flames Next
The Flames will continue a busy week of action on the course when No. 31/31 Liberty heads to Eatonton, Ga., for the Linger Longer Invitational, this weekend.
Liberty, who is currently ranked No. 31 by both Golfweek and Golfstat in the latest team rankings, is coming off a 3-1 showing at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship earlier this week.
After losing their first match to No. 10 seed Tennessee, 3-and-2, No. 7 seed Liberty won three in a row to capture the consolation bracket championship and ninth place at the 16-team event.
Another strong field awaits Liberty this week, as the Linger Longer Invitational features six Top 50 ranked programs in its 12-team field. The field also includes four teams that advance to last year's NCAA national championship.
Pacing the way is No. 2/7 Alabama, the event's defending team champion, who fired an 18-under par 864 to capture the title over second-place Chattanooga and third-place programs Georgia and Stanford at this same event in 2011.
The 54-hole event, co-hosted by Kennesaw State and Mercer, will be played at the renowned The Great Waters Course. The par-72, 7,073-yard will the second-straight Jack Nicklaus designed golf course Liberty will play after circling The Concession Golf Club earlier this week at the match play championship in Bradenton, Fla.
Located 75 miles outside of Atlanta, Ga., the Reynolds Planation received an addition in 1992 when The Great Waters Course opened to rave reviews. The course was voted the No. 5 "Top 10 Nicklaus Courses You Must Play" by Golf Magazine.
The Great Waters course offers players some of the most dramatic golf scenery in the Southeast, with nine holes coming into play along the shores of Lake Oconee.
Along with Alabama, the six team field includes fellow Top 50 programs Chattanooga (No. 30/28), Georgia (No. 26/25), Kennesaw State (No. 41/46) and Oklahoma (No. 28/27).
Liberty's Robert Karlsson will be among the 13 Top 125 individually ranked golfers in the country in the field, with Karlsson coming into the week ranked No. 26.
Alabama has the field's top three golfers on its rosters, including Justin Thomas (No. 3), Cory Whitsett (No. 18) and Bobby Wyatt (No. 19).
Karlsson is coming off an impressive showing for the Flames at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship, where the senior posted a perfect 4-0 record.
Liberty's second best golfer at the match play event, Chase Marinell, who posted unbeaten 3-0-1 record, will not be in the field for Liberty at the Linger Longer Invitational due to a minor injury. Marinell will be replaced in the line-up by freshman Mathieu Fenasse, who will be making his fifth start of the season for head coach Jeff Thomas.
The other three Liberty golfers heading to the "Peach State" will be Max McKay, Ian McConnell and Niklas Lindstrom.
All three had various levels of success at the Callaway Collegaite Match Play Championship earlier this week.
McKay closed out the event with a 3-and-1 victory to help Liberty secure a 3-0-2 team win over Iowa.
Playing in the No. 2 spot in the line-up, McConnell dropped his first two matches, but rallied with 2-and-1 win over his Arizona State foe and a 3-and-1 victory over Iowa's No. 2 golfer.
Lindstrom matched McConnell's win total, posting a 2-1-1 record in his first collegiate match play event. He rallied from three down with six holes to play to square up his match against Iowa to help the Flames go unbeaten against the Hawkeyes to close the three-day event.
The Linger Longer Invitational will see 36 holes of action on Saturday, followed by 18 final holes of completion on Sunday. Golfstat will be providing live results following each three holes of play.
Linger Longer Invitational Field
(Golfweek/Golfstat Team Rankings)
Alabama (No. 2/7)
Charleston Southern (No. 108/106)
Charlotte (No. 64/68)
Chattanooga (No. 30/28)
Georgia (No. 26/25)
Jacksonville (No. 143/138)
Kennesaw State (No. 41/46)
Liberty (No. 31/31)
Mercer (No. 94/90)
Notre Dame (No. 65/64)
Oklahoma (No. 28/27)
South Alabama (No. 84/87)
Top 125 Individual Golfers in the Field
(Golfweek Individual Rankings)
No. 3 – Justin Thomas (Alabama)
No. 18 – Cory Whitsett (Alabama)
No. 19 – Bobby Wyatt (Alabama)
No. 21 – Stephan Jaeger (Chattanooga)
No. 26 – Robert Karlsson (Liberty)
No. 51 – Bryden MacPherson (Georgia)
No. 60 – Max Scodro (Notre Dame)
No. 69 – Matt Nagy (Kennesaw State)
No. 78 – Riley Pumphrey (Oklahoma)
No. 81 – Hunter Hamrick (Alabama)
No. 91 – Keith Mitchell (Georgia)
No. 103 – Jeff Kalrsson (Kennesaw State)
No. 116 – Steven Fox (Chattanooga)
The Great Waters Course (Eatonton, Ga.)
Par 72, 7,073 yards