Several teams came back to the field late Monday, allowing No. 1 seed Liberty to remain five shots off the pace following the conclusion of the first day of play at the 2014 Big South Men's Golf Championship.
No. 35/37 Liberty (Golfstat/Golfweek) finished the first round of play at The Patriot Golf Club with a two-over par 290, the Flames' best round at the conference championship event since their closing round in 2012.
No. 4 seed Coastal Carolina, the 14-time winners of the event, leads the 10-team field following a three-under par 285. The Chanticleers, who started off No. 10 tee, were able to weather the more difficult back nine during the morning and climb up the leaderboard during the afternoon to lead the championship for the third-straight round.
No. 5 seed Charleston Southern rode the strong individual play of senior golfer David Denlinger to a day one second place finish with a team score of two-under par 286.
No. 3 seed Winthrop is in third place following an even par 288 on the par-72, 7,120-yard course, followed by the Flames' fourth-place two-over par 290.
Denlinger leads the 50-man field overall following a season-best six-under par 66. The senior jumpstarted his stellar round by holing out from the fairway on the par-4, No. 11 hole, his second of the day. On the day, he finished with seven birdies, three bogeys and an eagle to lead the field by four strokes.
Nine players in total found red numbers on Monday, including Flames' senior golfer Chase Marinell, who is tied for sixth place with a one-under par 71. Marinell overcame a double bogey on the first hole after losing a ball out of bounds to offset two bogeys with three birdies and record his 14th round at par or better this season.
Niklas Lindstrom is one of four golfers tied for 10th place following an even par 72. A birdie on the difficult par-3, No. 15 hole got the senior to two-under par for the day, however, he closed with bogeys at No. 16 and 17 to finish up a level par for the championship.
Ian McConnell struggled out of the gates on his third career Big South Championship appearance, as he was four-over par after seven holes. However, the senior birdied three out of his next four holes to get three shots back and finish with a one-over par 73 to share 14th place.
Mathieu Fenasse, the reigning Big South individual medalist, bogeyed the opening hole after missing the green at the par-4, 392-yard hole short. The junior responded by posting a par on 14 out of the next 15 holes with the only non-par score being a birdie on the short par-3, No. 7 hole after sticking a short iron within two feet of the cup.
Fenasse had the chance to keep his par streak alive after hitting pin high left on the par-3, No. 17 hole. However, the junior's steady putter failed him for the first time on the day as he four-putted the green to drop two shots and finished tied for 19th place with a two-over par 74.
The junior finished the day hitting 10-of-14 fairways and 14-of-18 greens in regulation, to go along with 34 total putts.
The Flames final golfer in the field was Jacob Mast and the senior finished his first career conference championship round tied for 28th place with a four-over par 76. Mast's first time around the Davis Love, III, designed golf course was spotlighted by back-to-back birdies on holes No. 7 and 8.
Pairings for day two of the championship will remain the same, with No. 1 seed Liberty remaining with No. 2 seed Radford and No. 3 seed Winthrop. The only change will be the teams will start off the day opposite their starting holes today, with the Flames, Highlanders and Eagles going off the No. 10 tee, starting at 9:20 a.m.
Live stats will once again be provided throughout the day via Golfstat.com, while the @LUGameDay twitter account will be on the course providing updates on Liberty's golfers as they look to better their position and march toward a third Big South title in four years.