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Flames Take 2nd Place at Sea Best Invitational

February 2, 2016  Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  RSS
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Gabe Lench led the Flames at the Sea Best Invitational, finishing in seventh place with a 1-over par 211.

Gabe Lench led the Flames at the Sea Best Invitational, finishing in seventh place with a 1-over par 211.

The Flames saved their best play for the final 18 holes of action on Tuesday, allowing Liberty to finish the 2016 Sea Best Invitational in second place.

Liberty posted the low score on the day to claim second place, circling the TPC Sawgrass – Dye's Valley Course (par 70, 6,873 yards) course at an even par 280. Liberty's final round was the fourth lowest round in the event's history.

Only four other squads posted a team total below a double-digit over par score on Tuesday. The 15-team tournament posted an average team score of 293.53 during the final round.

The second-place showing marks the fifth time Liberty has posted a top-five finish in this event in the last six years.

No. 19 Florida won the event in convincing fashion over second-place Liberty, posting a 14-under par 826 winning score (265-278-283). The Gators won the event by 23 strokes over Liberty, claiming their third title in the event's eight-year history (also in 2011 and 2012).

Liberty finished the event in second place with a 9-over par 849 (281-288-280). The Flames' 849 team score tied the program's ninth-best 54-hole tournament total.

The Flames finished nine strokes ahead of No. 35 Arkansas, who took third place with an 18-over par 858 (287-290-281). No. 21 North Carolina, who entered the day seven strokes ahead of Liberty, shared third place with Arkansas with an 18-over par 858 (283-279-296).

Rounding out the other top 50 teams in the field were No. 45 North Florida, who took home fifth place (20-over par 860/281-293-286), No. 42 Texas A&M, who finished in sixth place (27-over par 867/282-293-292), No. 47 Tennessee, who claimed ninth place (31-over par 871/286-295-290) and No. 34 Charleston Southern, who finished in 10th place (38-over par 878/294-296-288).

Florida had four of the top five golfers in the tournament field, led by No. 32 Sam Horfield, who claimed medalist honors with a 7-under par 203 winning score (65-68-70).

No. 67 Alejandro Tosti, a teammate of Horfield, finished in second place with a 4-under par 206 (64-69-73). North Carolina's Joshua Martin, the clubhouse leader entering the final round, finished in third place with a 3-under par 207 (64-68-75).

Liberty's Gabe Lench shared seventh place with two other golfers, posting a 1-over par 211 (68-72-71). The freshman secured his second career top 10 finish with a birdie on the par-5, No. 16 hole, his second birdie of the day.

Isaiah Logue was making a run at his third top-five finish of the season midway through the final round, as the sophomore made the turn at 3-under par on the day. However, a pair of bogeys and a double bogey on his closing nine dropped him back into a tie for 10th place with an overall 2-over par 212 (72-69-71).

Huston Chandler (71-77-69) and Mickey DeMorat (70-78-69) were two of the seven players in the 84-man field to manage to post a score in red figures during the final round.

Both Liberty golfers carded 1-under par rounds of 69 and finished the event tied for 23rd place with an overall 7-over par 217.

Chandler carded three birdies on the day, including his third on the closing 18th hole to post his lowest round of the 2015-16 season.

DeMorat carded all four of his final round birdies on the front nine, allowing him to card his fifth round at par or better this season.

After struggling during his first round yesterday, Payton Taylor closed the Sea Best Invitational with consecutive solid rounds. The sophomore carded a 1-over par 71 on Tuesday and finish the two-day event tied for 37th place with a 10-over par 220 (79-70-71).

Liberty's Adam Eineving also competed in the event as an individual, finishing tied for 74th place with a 25-over par 235 (82-75-78).

The Flames will return to the "Sunshine State" later this month when they participate in the 2016 SunTrust Gator Invitational. The two-day, 54-hole event, Feb. 20-21, is hosted by Florida at its own Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.