Players gearing up for fifth annual Flamethrower Invitational
November 5, 2015 | Lynchburg, Va.
Normally a spring tradition, Liberty University's disc golf team will host its fifth annual Flamethrower Invitational tournament this Saturday and Sunday, showcasing its two 20-hole courses and giving visiting teams opportunities to qualify for the United States Disc Golf Collegiate National Championships, set for April 13-16 in North Augusta, S.C.
The Flames, who have already qualified for nationals based on their best-ever top-10 finish last year, will enter three four-man teams into the tournament, competing against squads from North Carolina State, Elizabethtown (Pa.) College, and Columbus (Ga.) State University which have confirmed, and possibly West Virginia University and UNC Asheville.
Singles and doubles play will tee off with shotgun starts at 9 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m. on Saturday, using Liberty's new 20-hole course located near Camp Hydaway, and conclude on Sunday at the same times on the team's original 20-hole East Campus course.
From 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, there will be a distance driving competition, and a putting and a mid-range skills challenge for all players at the Liberty Lacrosse Field, the central headquarters for the tournament.
"We'll have a good lineup and our second string is going to be really strong , too," Flames Head Coach Steve Bowman said. "We've got guys dueling for spots through tag tournaments, inter-squad challenges, and they're getting their mindsets ready to compete. It's all about being patient, taking opportunities when they present themselves, and if you make a mistake, don't let it drain on you. You've got to be mentally ready and figure out what the best approach is for the next shot."
"We've got a great bunch of guys who are really focused on improving what they're doing," Bowman said. "They have a passion to play and are absorbing everything we're teaching them."
Liberty also will send out a couple of its women's players for practice, though none of the other programs will bring any female competitors. Hannah Croke, who took last year off, is back for her senior season and will be joined by Dayna Slusher, a first-time player who is improving tremendously.