Liberty opened the 2019-20 season in style, claiming the team title at the 2019 Island Resort Intercollegiate on Monday.
Liberty, who finished last year ranked No. 22 in the country, rallied late to climb atop the leaderboard at the end of the day.
The Flames' starting five carded five birdies during the closing three holes at the Sage Run Golf Course (par 72, 7,375 yards) to claim the program's 30th NCAA Division I team tournament title. Liberty carded a winning score of 9-under par 855 (285-285-285), posted three-straight rounds at 3-under par 285
The Flames' strong during closing stretch allowed Liberty to move ahead of Purdue, who finished in second place with an 8-under par 856 (280-285-291).
The South Dakota State hosted tournament was a new event on the Flames' fall slate and was the season opener for the 10-team field.
Round Recap – Liberty's Starting Five: • Kieran Vincent: T2 6-under par 210 (71-68-71) • Jonathan Yaun: T12 E par 216 (72-74-70) • Alexandre Fuchs: T12 E par 216 (69-74-73) • Ervin Chang: 14 1-over par 217 (73-73-71) • Zach Barbin: N/A (WD-75-WD)
Individuals: • Connor Polender: T52 13-over par 229 (74-73-82) • Kevin Latchayya: T63 18-over par 234 (80-79-75) • Isaac Simmons: N/A (78-72-WD)
Field Reflections: • Tournament runner-up Purdue came into the day with a four-stroke lead, but fell out of the top spot on the leaderboard after closing the event with a 3-over par 291. • Three other teams in the 10-team field finished the event in red figure beside Liberty and Purdue. •East Carolina (282-287-290) and UCF (292-281-286) shared third place with a 5-under par 859, while Michigan State finished in fifth place with a 4-under par 860 (289-292-279). • Michigan State's James Piot claimed individual medalist honors, carding a 9-under par 207 (68-70-69). • Piot finished three strokes ahead of a trio of players that included Liberty's Kieran Vincent and Purdue teammates Nick Dentino (70-70-70-210) and Joe Weiler (68-70-72-210).
Birdies and Bogeys – Liberty Team Notes: • The Flames team tournament title is the 30th in program history at the NCAA Division I level and the first since winning the Intercollegiate at the Grove title on Oct. 9, 2018. • Liberty led the 10-team field in par-5 scoring (27-under par/4.52 scoring average) and ranked second in total birdies (56). • Vincent led Liberty's efforts at the season-opening tournament, finishing three shots off the overall lead and in second place with a 6-under par 210 (71-68-71). • The runner-up finish marked the fifth top-five finish of the redshirt junior's career. • Vincent led the field in par-5 scoring (9-under par/4.25 scoring average) and ranked 10th in the field with 12 birdies. • A pair of Flames shared 12th place with Jonathan Yaun (72-74-70) and Alexandre Fuchs (69-74-73) posted an even par 216. • Ervin Chang finished one stroke behind them in 14th place with a 1-over par 217 (73-73-71). • Yaun ranked tied for third in the field in par-3 scoring (2-under par/2.83 scoring average), while Chang ranked second in the field with 15 birdies.
Back on the Course – Liberty's Next Event: • 2019 Rod Myers Invitational (Sept. 14-15) • Duke University Golf Course (Durham, N.C.) • Hosted by Duke • Par 72, 7,154 yards