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Liberty Takes 3rd Place after Strong Finish at Sea Best Invitational

February 7, 2017  Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  RSS
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Gabe Lench posted a 3-under par 207 to finish in fourth place at the Sea Best Invitational.

Gabe Lench posted a 3-under par 207 to finish in fourth place at the Sea Best Invitational.

No. 32 Liberty had the best closing round in the 15-team field on Tuesday, allowing the Flames to take third place at the 2017 Sea Best Invitational.

The Flames carded an even par 280 during the event's final round, moving Liberty four spots on the leaderboard. Overall, Liberty fired a 9-over par 849 (283-286-280) at the TPC Sawgrass – Dye's Valley Course (par 70, 6,873 yards), posting its fifth top-five finish in the last seven years at this event.

No. 2 Florida defended its tournament title and claimed its fourth tournament champion in program history at this event. The Gators carded a winning score of 4-under par 836 (277-275-284).

No. 65 Lipscomb finished between the Flames and the Gators with a 4-over par 845 (278-283-284) to take second place.

Liberty's strong play on Tuesday allowed the Flames to finish ahead of No. 31 Arkansas, who finished in fourth place with a 13-over par 853 (291-272-290), and No. 13 North Carolina, who finished in fifth place with a 15-over par 855 (280-273-302).

Florida's Ryan Orr, who competed in the event as an individual, claimed individual medalist honors with a 6-under par 204 (67-66-71).

Orr's teammate, Alejandro Tosti, took second place with a 5-under par 205 (68-68-69). Lipscomb's Dawson Armstrong finished in third place with a 4-under par 206 (70-71-65), thanks to matching the low round of the tournament with a 5-under par 65 on Tuesday.

Liberty had two of the seven golfers who finished the tournament in red figures. Gabe Lench finished in fourth place with a 3-under par 207 (65-72-70), while Isaiah Logue shared fifth-place honors with a 2-under par score of 208 (71-67-70).

Lench overcame an early double bogey on the day to post his second round of the tournament and an eighth overall this season at par or better. The sophomore led the 83-man field in par-4 scoring (3.92 stroke average) and was tied for second with 12 birdies.

Logue offset a pair of closing-round bogeys with birdies at the par-4, No. 7 hole (326 yards) and par-3, No. 11 hole (229 yards). The junior finished the 54-hole event with 39 pars, ranking fourth among the tournament field in the statistical category.

Liberty's remaining three golfers showed marked improvement during the final round, pushing themselves up the leaderboard and helping the Flames to the third-place finish.

Payton Taylor moved up 19 spots on Tuesday to a tie for 36th place with a 10-over par 220 (76-73-71). The junior continually improved throughout the event, closing with three birdies on Tuesday to give him eight overall for the tournament.

Kieran Vincent maintained his steady play during the Jacksonville-hosted event, carding his third 4-over par 74 on Tuesday. Overall the freshman shared 45th place with a 12-over par 222 (74-74-74).

Hutson Chandler had a 12-shot improvement from his final round on Monday, carding a 1-under par 69. Following his fourth career sub-70 round, the junior moved into 52nd place with an overall 13-over par 223 (73-81-69).

The Flames will play their second of three-straight events in the "Sunshine State" when they travel to the SunTrust Gator Invitational, Feb. 18-19. The Florida-hosted tournament will be played at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Fla.