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Strong Finish Allows Flames to Finish in 6th Place at Gator Invitational

February 21, 2016  Gainesville, Fla.  RSS
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Mickey DeMorat finished the SunTrust Gator Invitational in third place, tying the program's best individual 54-hole total with a 7-under par 202.

Mickey DeMorat finished the SunTrust Gator Invitational in third place, tying the program's best individual 54-hole total with a 7-under par 202.

Liberty closed with its second-best, 18-hole team score in program history on Sunday, allowing the Flames to finish in sixth place at the 2016 SunTrust Gator Invitational.

Liberty kept pace with the leaders during its final trip around the Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,701 yards), as the Flames were one of five teams to card a sub-par final round.

The Flames posted a 7-under par 273 on Sunday, besting the program's previous No. 2 mark of a 274 during the second round of the Morris Williams Intercollegiate on April 13, 2013. Liberty's program record is a 271 during the final round of the Golfweek Conference Challenge on Sept. 21, 2010.

Liberty's strong finish allowed the Flames to climb up the leaderboard five spots on Sunday and finish in sixth place with a 7-over par 847 (294-280-273). The Flames' 847 is the team's lowest 54-hole total of the season and eighth-best in program history.

No. 33 USF claimed the SunTrust Gator Invitational title for the second year in a row, posting a winning score of 22-under par 818 (282-269-267).

No. 19 Vanderbilt took second place in the event with a 14-under par 826 (278-280-268). Tournament host Florida finished in third place with a 13-under par 827 (272-278-277).

No. 3 Florida State, the top ranked team in the 14-team field, finished in fourth place with a 9-under par 831 (282-279-270). Jacksonville rounded out the top five teams in the field with a 4-under par 836 (271-281-284).

USF's Rigel Fernandes claimed individual medalist honors with a 13-under par 197 (70-63-64), the second-best, 54-hole total in the event's near four decades of competition.

Sam Horsfield, the No. 26 individual ranked golfer in the country, used the familiarity of his home course to his advantage. He finished in second place with a 9-under par 201 (63-68-70).

Liberty's Mickey DeMorat (70-66-66) finished tied for third place with No. 44 Patrick Martin of Vanderbilt (68-68-66) and Jacksonville's David Wicks (66-67-69). The trio of golfers closed the two-day event with an 8-under par 202.

DeMorat's 8-under par 202 ties the sophomore for the best individual 54-hole total in program history. He now shares the top spot in Liberty's record book with Max McKay (Renaissance Invitational – Nov. 1-2, 2009) and Andrew Turner (James Madison Invitational – Oct. 10-11, 2005).

For the second round in a row, DeMorat offset one bogey with five birdies. Overall, he ranked in the top 10 of the event's 78-man field in par-4 (3.87/4-under) and par-5 (4.56/4-under) scoring.

Isaiah Logue finished tied for 28th place with a 2-over par 212 (71-72-69). The sophomore, who currently ranks No. 52 in the country, had a colorful scorecard on Sunday with five birdies and four bogeys to post his first sub-par round in two career showings at this event.

Payton Taylor finished tied for 37th place with a 5-over par 215 (77-60-70). The sophomore closed with his sixth round at par or better of the 2015-16 season, trading four bogeys for four birdies to close with an even par 70.

Hutson Chandler and Gabe Lench both saved their best rounds of the tournament for Sunday, finishing off the event with a 1-under par 69.

Overall, Chandler finished the tournament tied for 55th place with an 11-over par 221 (76-76-69) and Lench tied for 66th place with a 14-over par 224 (81-74-69).

The Flames will close out a three-event swing in the "Sunshine State" next weekend when they participate in The Hayt, a three-day event hosted by North Florida. The 54-hole tournament will be played Friday through Sunday at the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponta Vedra Beach, Fla.