No. 22 Liberty tied a season low with a 10-under 278 during the morning flight at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate and enters tomorrow's final round in fifth place.
The Flames, who are currently ranked No. 22 in the latest Golfstat national rankings, were one shot off the lead following their first time around the Quail Valley Golf Club on Monday morning (par 72, 7,350 yards).
Liberty opened the event with a 10-under par 278, tying its low 18-hole total of the season and 11th best 18-hole total in program history.
However, the Flames could not keep up the torrid pace set by the leaders, falling three spots down the leaderboard during the afternoon round into fifth place. Liberty carded an overall 8-under par 568 on the day (278-290) and is now seven shots behind the overall leader.
No. 43 Michigan State leads the 15-team field, which includes 14 teams currently ranked in the top-100 programs in the nation. The Spartans carded a 15-under par 561 (277-284) to lead the McNeese State hosted event for most of the day on Monday.
Jacksonville (280-282) is in second place with a 14-under par 562 and Arkansas is in third place with a 13-under par 563 (278-285). No. 37 North Florida is in fourth place with a 12-under par 564 (280-284).
Liberty's Gabe Lench and Mickey DeMorat are two of the 27 players in the 75-man field who are currently under par. Both golfers, who hail from Florida, have experienced success at the Quail Valley Golf Club during the amateur portion of their golfing careers.
Lench is tied for 12th place at 2-under par 142 (68-74). He opened with a 4-under par 68, tying the low 18-hole total of his career and marking his eighth sub-70 career round thanks to six first-round birdies.
DeMorat is one shot behind Lench with a 1-under par 143 (69-74). The junior opened the event with a 3-under par 69, his fourth sub-70 round of the fall season.
Kieran Vincent (71-73) and Isaiah Logue (70-74) are tied for 28th place with an even par 144. Both golfers carded three birdies during the morning flight to record under-par rounds.
Erwin Chang, Liberty's final golfer in the field, posted the Flames' best score of the second round. After opening with a four-over 76, the freshman carded his first career collegiate under-par round with a 3-under par 69 during the afternoon flight. Overall, he is tied for 39th place with a 1-over par 145 (76-69).
The 75-man field is chasing Middle Tennessee State's Ilari Saulo, who leads the tournament after 36 holes with a 12-under par 132 (67-65).
Arkansas' Alvaro Ortiz is one shot behind with an 11-under par 133 (66-67), while North Florida's Phillip Knowles is in third place with a 9-under par 135 (67-68).
The 15-team field will return to the Quail Valley Golf Club tomorrow for the event's final round of competition with a shotgun start at 8:45 a.m. Liberty will be paired with golfers from Middle Tennessee State and North Florida and will tee off from holes No. 4 (par 4, 440 yards) and No. 7 (par 5, 576 yards).