Liberty christens course with runner-up Flamethrower finish
March 8, 2015 | Lynchburg, Va.
Snow-covered courses and cold and rainy weather made for challenging playing conditions for the 32 players who participated in Liberty University's fourth annual Flamethrower Invitational disc golf tournament over the weekend.
East Tennessee State University (508 total), which won the first year Liberty offered the national qualifying event in 2012, reclaimed the team title by dethroning the two-time defending champion Flames (515) by seven shots.
North Carolina State (526) placed third followed by Liberty's B team (546), ETSU's B team (570), North Carolina (591), West Virginia (632), and the Flames' C team (651).
Saturday's first round of singles and doubles play was held on the Flames' brand new 20-hole course located near Camp Hydaway on Liberty Mountain. Sunday's second rounds took place on East Campus.
"Everybody liked the new course," Flames Head Coach Steve Bowman said. "It's been fun, in spite of the weather."
Liberty senior Lance Brown, who missed last year's tournament with a spiral fracture in his wrist, was the singles low scorer after posting a low score of 61 on the new course on Saturday and an even-par 60 on the East Campus course on Sunday.
"I've had a lot of experience actually, playing in rain and snow, so that helped a lot," Brown said. "That was the first time we've played the other course, so we don't yet have an idea of what a good round would be. Overall, it's more difficult. Six or seven of the back nine holes go straight up a hill and then straight down."
|Liberty senior Jordan Strother tied for sixth place.|
Flames freshman Brent Prudich (72-61) and senior Jordan Strother (69-64) tied for sixth individually with 133 totals, followed closely by Liberty senior Devin Swartz (68-66) and graduate student Dan Ballard (68-66), who tied for eighth at 134 and senior Colby Robinson (72-63), 10th at 135.
Liberty's top doubles team shot 62 on the first day and 67 on the second to finish ahead of tandems from ETSU (62-69), N.C. State (59-71), UNC (68-80), and WVU (71-95).
The Tar Heels' Austin Vegas won Saturday's long-drive competition before Prudich sealed Sunday's putting competition with impressive semifinal and championship rounds in which he sank five and six putts, respectively, out of 10 shots from 25 feet.
Since ETSU, the runner-up Flames, who captured the Second Flight championship in a deluge at nationals last year, and third-place Wolfpack had already clinched team entries to the April 15-18 National Collegiate Disc Golf Championships in North Augusta, S.C., UNC and West Virginia received the tournament's two qualifying bids with their sixth- and seventh-place showings.