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Flames Finish NCAA Albuquerque Regional in 9th Place

May 18, 2016  Albuquerque, N.M.  RSS
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Liberty finished in ninth place at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional, the Flames' fifth regional appearance in six seasons and seventh in program history.

Liberty finished in ninth place at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional, the Flames' fifth regional appearance in six seasons and seventh in program history.

No. 11 seed Liberty wrapped up its 2015-16 season on Wednesday, finishing play at the NCAA Albuquerque Regional in ninth place.

The Flames showed marked improvement over yesterday's play, shaving 12 shots off their team score despite battling more winds and periods of rain throughout the day.

Liberty carded a 59-over par 923 (297-319-307), finishing ahead of Iowa, who took 10th place with a 61-over par 925 (302-314-309), and No. 34 N.C. State, who finished in 11th place with a 65-over par 929 (305-314-310).

The tournament concludes the season for Liberty, one that included the Flames winning their fourth Big South title in six years. Liberty also advanced to NCAA Regional play for the fifth time in the last six seasons and seventh time overall in program history.

The Championship Course at the University of New Mexico (par 72, 7,562 yards) continued to play tough with the final round scoring average finishing at 76.83. The NCAA Albuquerque Regional finished with an overall 77.38 stroke average, the second highest scoring average of the six NCAA Regional sites.

Following stellar play in blustery conditions on Tuesday, No. 11 Arizona State cruised to the NCAA Regional victory, winning by 12 strokes over TCU.

The Sun Devils posted a 12-over par 876 winning score (286-296-294), followed by the Horned Frogs' 24-over par 888 (292-305-291).

No. 3 USC, the top-ranked team in the 14-team field, finished in third place with a 31-over par 895 (291-311-293), followed by No. 15 South Florida, who finished in fourth place with a 35-over par 899 (289-311-299).

No. 22 San Diego State (293-312-299) and No. 27 Texas A&M (296-307-301) finished tied for fifth place with a 40-over par 904.

San Diego State won in a one-hole playoff to determine the fifth and final team to advance to the 2016 NCAA Men's Golf Championship in Eugene, Ore. (May 27 – June 1). San Diego State posted a combined 5-under par score at No. 1 (par 5, 544 yards), including a double eagle by Gunn Yang. Texas A&M played the hole at 2-unde par.

Arizona State's Jon Rahm, the top-ranked individual golfer in the 75-man field at No. 3 in the country, took home medalist honors. He was the lone player to finish in red figures, posting a winning score of 4-under par 212 (69-71-72).

USC's Sean Crocker finished in second place with a 1-over par 217 (70-74-73). TCU teammates Paul Barjon (73-76-70) and Ryan Books (70-74-75) shared third place with a 3-over par 219.

Liberty's top golfer in the field was Gabe Lench, who bookended solid rounds to finish tied for 17th place with a 10-over par 226 (71-82-73).

Lench's third top-20 finish of his rookie season saw him overcome a double bogey at No. 10 (par 4, 517 yard), Liberty's opening hole of the day. Lench posted four birdies and three bogeys during the closing 17 holes of his freshman season.

Mickey DeMorat followed Lench, finishing his first year at Liberty by posting a 30th-place showing at NCAA Regionals with a 13-over par 229 (76-76-77).

The junior college transfer opened with two bogeys in his first four holes of play, but finally settled down to post five pars in a row.

Two great shots at the par-5, No. 1 hole (544 yards) allowed the lengthy sophomore to get to the green in two where he had an eight-foot uphill look at eagle. However, the putt slid to the left and he was only able to get one shot back with the birdie.

DeMorat found trouble on the next two holes, dropping three shots total. His approach at the par-4, No. 2 hole (454 yards) landed on the dirt cart path which left him a difficult chip and he carded a double bogey.

He found the front edge of the green at No. 3 (par 3, 163 yards), but was too aggressive on his long uphill putt and he carded his third bogey of the day.

Following back-to-back bogeys at the challenging No. 7 (par 4, 52 yards) and No. 8 holes (par 3, 267 yards), DeMorat was on the fringe in two at No. 9 (par 5, 606 yards) where he was able to close his first year at Liberty with his sixth birdie at the NCAA Regionals.

On the day, the All-Big South golfer hit 7-of-14 fairways, 11-of-18 greens and had 35 total putts to post a 5-over par 77.

Isaiah Logue finished tied for 43rd place with a 17-over par 233 (74-80-79). The two-time All-Big South golfer birdied the par-5, No. 14 hole (579 yards) to get back to 1-over par for the day. However, he carded four bogeys and a double bogey during his final nine holes of the year to fall back to his final standing.

Hutson Chandler finished his first collegiate Regional experience tied for 49th place with a 19-over par 235 (76-81-78). The sophomore's third round was spotlighted by a birdie at No. 2, his fifth birdie at the tournament.

Rounding out Liberty's golfers in the NCAA Regional field was Payton Taylor. Liberty's fourth starting sophomore in the regional lineup finished tied for 67th place with a 28-over par 244 (76-86-82).