Max McKay was one of five Flames to post improved scores during the afternoon rounds on Sunday at the Seahawk Invitational.
The Flames posted the second-lowest round of the afternoon flight at the Seahawk Invitational on Sunday, resulting in a four-place improvement on the team leaderboard. However, No. 31/33 Liberty (Golfweek/Golfstat) will still have its work cut out for them on Monday if they want to contend for this year's title. The Flames opened the 54-hole event with a 21-over par 309, the team's highest 18-hole total since the opening round of the JU Invitational on Feb. 8, 2010. Liberty, who closed the first round in 10th place out of 12 teams, shot up the leaderboard during the afternoon, as the Flames started to find their touch on the par-72, 6,946-yard Country Club of Landfall course. The Flames saw a 25-shot improvement during the second round, carding a four-under par 284 to share sixth place with tournament host UNC Wilmington (299-294). Both squads are tied for sixth place with a 17-over par 593 and trail tournament leader No. 51/45 East Carolina by 15 strokes. The Pirates were the only team to better Liberty during the second round and lead the 12-team field with a two-over par 578 (296-282). No. 45/41 Wake Forest is in second place with an eight-over par 584 (292-292), followed by No. 26/22 Chattanooga, who is in third place with a 12-over par 588 (300-288). A total of eight players finished the first 36 holes of action on Sunday in red figures. The eight-player group is led by South Carolina's Wesley Bryan, who leads the 66-player field with a five-under par 139 (68-71). Wake Forest's Lee Bedford (70-71) and Davidson's Richard Fountain (69-72) share second place with a three-under par 141. Three players share third place with a two-under par 142, including Chattanooga's Stephan Jaeger (73-69), who is the field's top-ranked individual golfer at No. 10 in the latest Golfweek rankings. Two of Liberty's golfers carded the second best rounds of the afternoon flight, with each of Liberty's starting five finding improvement the second time it circled the Jack Nicklaus designed golf course. Robert Karlsson, ranked No. 27 in the latest Golfweek ranking, shaved nine shots off his opening round and stands tied for 10th place with a one-over par 145 (77-68). His opening round five-over par 77 tied his highest 18-hole total of the season, while his second-round four-under par 68 marked the fifth time he has broken 70 this year. Liberty's greatest improvement from the first to second round came from Mathieu Fenasse, as the freshman cut 11 shots off his morning flight score. He stands in 14th place with a three-over par 147 (79-68), after carding his highest and lowest scores as a member of Liberty's golf roster. Max McKay is one of five golfers tied for 23rd place with a six-over par 150 (77-73). The junior trimmed four shots off his opening round to move 10 spots up the leaderboard. Ian McConnell is one stroke behind McKay, as the sophomore shares 28th place with six other golfers after carding a seven-over par 151 (76-75). Liberty's final golfer at the event is Chase Marinell, who bettered his opening round by five strokes during the afternoon and shares 47th place with a 13-over par 157 (81-76). The Flames will be looking to follow a similar pattern as they did at last year's Seahawk Invitational, after opening the two-day event with a 15-over par 303 in 2011. Liberty eventually finished as the tournament runner-up with a 19-over par 883 (303-285-295), trailing only the homestanding Seahawks, who finished first with a 15-over par 879 (290-293-296). Liberty will once again have to go post a low number prior to the opening day leaders coming to the clubhouse. The Flames will head off the opening No. 1 hole at the Country Club of Landfall course tomorrow alongside Davidson and South Carolina, starting at 9 a.m.