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Flames Finish The Hayt Tied for 9th Place

February 28, 2016  Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  RSS
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Gabe Lench closed this play at The Hayt with a 3-under par 69.

Gabe Lench closed this play at The Hayt with a 3-under par 69.

No. 48 Liberty finished in a share of ninth place at The Hayt on Sunday, as little movement on the scoreboard took place during the final day of play.

The Flames finished the three-day event posting a 33-over par 897 (305-302-290), closing the event with the fourth-best final round in the 15-team tournament field.

Liberty, who started played on the par-4, No. 10 hole (405 yards), had a chance to move up  one spot on the leaderboard during its closing holes and finish ahead of No. 23 UCLA's 30-over par 894 (303-296-295).

The Flames second-to-last hole was the reachable par-5, No. 8 (536 yards). However, Liberty could only muster one birdie, while carding two pars, a bogey and a double bogey to thwart the Flames' attempt to finish ahead of the Bruins.

No. 13 Oklahoma State fired a blistering 11-under par 277 during its final time around the Sawgrass Country Club (par 72, 6,966 yards). Solid play by the Cowboys allowed them to claim the tournament victory with a 6-under par 858 (300-281-277).

No. 37 North Florida, the tournament host, finished nine shots behind Oklahoma State, claiming a runner-up finish in its home event with a 3-over par 867 (293-292-282).

Jacksonville took third place with a 17-over par 881 (299-294-288), followed by No. 50 Tennessee with a 19-over par 883 (305-288-290). No. 43 East Carolina rounded out the top five teams in the field with a 25-over par 889 (310-289-290).

Oklahoma State's Brendon Jelley fended off any would-be challengers during the final round to claim individual medalist honors with a 9-under par 207 (70-68-69).

North Florida's Phillip Knowles took second place with a 5-under par 211 (70-71-70). Jacksonville's Raul Pereda finished in third place with a 3-under par 213 (71-74-68).

Isaiah Logue was Liberty's top finisher in the event, posting a 7-over par 223 (75-76-72) to finish tied for 27th place. The sophomore closed with birdies on the par-4 No. 5 (425 yards) and No. 7 (421 yards) to post his 10th round at par or better this season.

Gabe Lench was Liberty's low golfer during the final round, carding a 3-under par 69 to move up to 35th place with an overall 9-over par 225 (80-76-69).

The freshman had looks at a birdie on No. 11 (par 5, 517 yards) and No. 12 (par 3, 167 yards), but was unable to get a putt to drop.

Solid wedge play got his game going at No. 17 (par 4, 433 yards), chipping in for birdie off the back edge of the green. He followed by dropping a long birdie putt at No. 18 (par 5, 520 yards) and sticking one close for a third-consecutive birdie with a short putt at No. 1 (par 4, 390 yards).

Lench had an errant tee shot at No. 5 (par 4, 425 yards), dropping a shot after finding the hazard just off the fairway with his drive. He was the lone Flame to post a score in red figures on No. 8, hitting his second over the flagstick and two putting for his fourth birdie of the day.

Michael DeMorat finished tied for 40th place with an 11-over par 227 (77-74-76), while Payton Taylor tied for 47th place with a 12-over par 228 (77-78-73). Hutson Chandler finished Liberty's roster at the event, finishing in 51st place with a 13-over par 229 (76-76-77).

The Flames will play the first of two events during the month of March when they travel to Aiken, S.C., for the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate, March 7-8, at the Palmetto Golf Club.