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No. 7 Seed Liberty in Position for Return Trip to Nationals

May 15, 2018  Raleigh, N.C.  RSS
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No. 7 Seed Liberty in Position for Return Trip to Nationals

Strong play during Day 2 of the NCAA Raleigh Regional has No. 7 seed Liberty in a position to advance to the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship for the second time in program history.

The Flames tied tournament host and No. 6 seed NC State for the third-lowest round of the day on Tuesday, firing a 7-under 277 to finish the second day of the tournament in fifth place with an overall 11-under par score of 577 (280-277).

The top five teams at each of the six NCAA Regional sites will advance to the 2018 NCAA Men's Golf National Championship at Karsten Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla., May 25-30. The Flames are looking to advance to the national championship for the second time in program history and the first since 2012.

No. 3 seed Texas continues to lead the way. The Longhorns have posted a 24-under par 544 (271-273) following two trips around the Lonnie Poole Golf Course (par 71, 7,273 yards).

The Wolfpack are using their home course advantage to help hold down second place with a 16-under par 552 (275-277).

No. 1 seed Georgia Tech (274-279) and No. 5 seed Duke (281-272) are four shots clear of the Flames, as they share third place with a 15-under par 553.

Entering tomorrow's final round, the Flames hold a two-shot lead over No. 4 seed Arizona State (9-under par 559/276-283), a four-shot edge over No. 11 seed Middle Tennessee State (7-under par 561/280-281) and a five-shot advantage over No. 12 seed Augusta (6-under par 562/278-284).

A total of 32 players in the 75-man field still remain in red figures following 36 holes of action. Texas' Doug Ghim, the No. 10 ranked golfer in the country and 2108 Masters participant, currently leads the field with a 12-under par 130 (64-66), followed closely by NC State's Benjamin Shipp's 11-under par 131 (67-64).

The Flames continue to be led by Gabe Lench, who is tied for 11th place with an overall 4-under par 138 (69-69). The junior posted his fifth sub-70 round of the season thanks to three back-nine birdies to finish the day at 2-under par. His lone blemish on the closing nine was an errant approach shot on the tricky par-5, No. 15 hole (549 yards) which found the large water hazard to the right of the green.

Mickey DeMorat was the second Flame to post a 2-under par score on Tuesday, moving him into a tie for 14th place with an overall 3-under par 139 (70-69). The senior paced the way for the Flames during the second round with five birdies.

Alexandre Fuchs matched his first-ever NCAA Regional score and is tied for 22nd place with an overall 2-under par 140 (70-70). The freshman got back to 1-under par on the day after reaching the green in two at No. 15 and two putting for birdie on the par-5 hole.

Ervin Chang (71-72) and Isaiah Logue (74-69) are tied for 42nd place with an overall 1-over par 143.

Chang made the turn at 2-under par after birdieing three of his first six holes; however, a ball in the hazard at the par-3, No. 14 hole (194 yards) cost his two shots and he posted a bogey at the par-3, No. 17 hole (135 yards) to finished the day overall par.

Logue posted Liberty's best individual shot of the day, holing out from the fairway on the par-4, No. 13 hole (448 yards) for an eagle. The senior also added four other birdies to better his Day 1 score by five shots and claim 14 spots up the leaderboard.

The Flames will be able to watch current sixth-place team Arizona State closely, as they will be paired with the Sun Devils and No. 1 seed Georgia Tech during tomorrow's final round. Golfers from the three teams will be sent off the No. 10 starting at 7:30 a.m.