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Flames Move Up and Finish Seventh At SunTrust Gator Invitational

February 16, 2014  Gainesville, Fla.  RSS
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For the second tournament in a row, Niklas Lindstrom led the Flames as he finished tied for 12th place at the SunTrust Gator Invitational.

For the second tournament in a row, Niklas Lindstrom led the Flames as he finished tied for 12th place at the SunTrust Gator Invitational.

The Flames put together their best round at the 2014 SunTrust Gator Invitational on Sunday, moving up the leaderboard four spots to finish the Florida-hosted event in a share of seventh place.

Liberty kept pace with the leaders throughout the final round, carding a three-over par 283, which was the sixth-best closing round among the 14 teams in the tournament field. Liberty's closing round was 12 strokes better than its next best round during the 54-hole event.

The star-studded field included six top 25 teams, including Liberty, which entered the event ranked No. 24 by Golfstat and No. 26 by Golfweek.

No. 21/25 Arkansas closed with one of three team under-par rounds on Sunday, enabling the Razorbacks to claim a six-shot victory over No. 20/21 Florida State. Arkansas posted a nine-over par 849 (286-284-279) winning score, while the Seminoles finished runner-up with a 15-over par 855 (284-292-279).

No. 16/16 Vanderbilt took third place with an 18-over par 858 (293-284-281), followed by fourth-place No. 5/8 UCF with a 23-over par 863 (299-289-275).

Fifth place was shared by No. 8/9 UAB (297-290-281) and No. 34/38 Mercer (295-278-295) with both teams carding a 28-over par 868.

Liberty (295-296-283) and Georgia Southern (292-291-291) each circled the Mark Bostick Golf Course three times to record a 34-over par 874.

Mercer's Trey Rule (70-67-69) and Florida State's Hank Lebioda (69-70-67) finished tied atop the 75-man leaderboard, both carding four-under par scores of 206. Rule took individual medalist honors on the second playoff hole with a birdie after Lebioda found a water hazard.

Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom was one of 15 players to find red figures on Sunday and had one of the day's better rounds going until a double bogey on his closing hole. Still, his two-under par 68 allowed him to move up the leaderboard and finish in a tie for 12th place with a five-over par 215 (70-77-68) for his third top 20 finish of the season.

Chase Marinell was not able to find his stroke again on Sunday that led to a three-under par 67 yesterday afternoon. The senior closed the tournament with a five-over par 75 and finished the event tied for 25th place with an overall nine-over par 219 (77-67-75).

Mathieu Fenasse (74-78-71) and Ian McConnell (74-80-69) saved their best rounds of the tournament for Sunday and finished the event tied for 46th place with a 13-over par 223.

Fenasse was two-under par after eight holes of play, but slipped back down the leaderboard after three closing-nine bogeys.

McConnell saw an 11-stroke improvement from yesterday's second round to today's third round, carding a one-under par 69 thanks to four birdies and three bogeys. The senior's Sunday score was his fourth sub-70 round of the year.

Harrison Winger was the Flames' final golfer in the field, finishing in 75th place with a 26-over par 236 (81-74-81).

The Flames will make their third straight appearance in the "Sunshine State" next week when they participate in the John Hayt Collegiate Invitational. The three-day, 54-hole event will be hosted by North Florida at the Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 23-25.