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Flames In 6th Place after Day 1 of Steelwood Collegiate Invitational

October 28, 2017  Loxley, Ala.  RSS
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Gabe Lench is tied for fourth place following the first two rounds of the 2017 Steelwood Collegiate Invitational.

Gabe Lench is tied for fourth place following the first two rounds of the 2017 Steelwood Collegiate Invitational.

Liberty stands in sixth place following a pair of steady rounds during the first day of action at the 2017 Steelwood Collegiate Invitational on Saturday.

The Flames fired nearly identical rounds during their first two times playing the Steelwood Country Club course (par 72, 7,096 yards) and finished the day with an overall 19-over par 595 (297-298).

Alabama, the nation's No. 1 ranked team based upon the latest Golfstat listing, leads the 12-team field with a 3-under par 573 (280-293).

The Crimson Tide hold a six-stroke lead over Kennesaw State, the event's defending champion, who finished the day with a 3-over par 579 (286-293).

A trio of golfers finished Saturday's pair of rounds tied atop the 66-man leaderboard with a 4-under par 140 – Alabama's Lee Hodges and Jonathan Hardee and Kentucky's Lukas Euler.

The Flames were led on the day by Gabe Lench. The junior carded matching rounds of 1-under par 71 to post an aggregate 2-under par 142 total and stand two shots off the overall pace. Three of Lench's team-leading eight birdies on the day came on the par-5 holes, helping him finish the day in a tie for fourth place.

Ervin Chang is tied for 18th place following a 3-over par 147 (74-73). With some additional familiarity on the course, the sophomore carded both of his birdies on the day during the afternoon flight.

Payton Taylor stands in 33rd place with an 8-over par 152 (75-77). The senior birdied the par-5, No. 9 hole (516 yards) both times around the course to account for his pair of under-par holes during Saturday's 36 holes of action.

Rounding out Liberty's golfers in the South Alabama hosted event are Isaiah Logue, who stands in 52nd place with a 13-over par 157 (80-77), and Mickey DeMorat, who is tied for 54th place with a 14-over par 158 (77-81).

The Flames will wrap up the final event of the fall portion of their 2017-18 schedule, tomorrow, during the third round of the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational. Liberty will be paired with golfers from Rice and South Alabama during the final round and will be sent off the No. 1 tee (par 4, 444 yards) starting at 8:30 a.m. (CST).