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Top Seeds Push Field on Day 1 of Big South Men's Golf Championship

April 21, 2017  Ninety Six, S.C.  RSS
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Top Seeds Push Field on Day 1 of Big South Men's Golf Championship

No. 1 seed Liberty and No. 2 seed Campbell distanced themselves from the rest of the field, firing a combined 27-under par during the first day of the 2017 Big South Men's Golf Championship.           

The Camels tied a Big South Championship 18-hole record on Friday, carding a 15-under par 273 during their first time around The Patriot Golf Club (par 72, 7,120 yards).

The Flames, who have won four of the last six Big South titles, carded a 12-under par 276 and tied the team's fifth-best 18-hole team performance in school history.

Liberty's 18-hole score was the team's second best in their history at the conference championship event. The Flames posted a 13-under par 275 during the second round of the championship, April 17, 2013, on this same course.

No. 3 seed Gardner-Webb is a distant third, carding a 6-under par 282 on a sun-drenched day at The Patriot Golf Club.

Four of Liberty's starting five golfers are among the 16 players who finished the first day of the championship event in red figures.

The Campbell duo of Jesper Svensson and Thomas LaMorte lead the 45-man field following a 5-under par 67.

Liberty's Mickey DeMorat stands in third place following a 4-under par 68, his sixth sub-70 round of the season.

Following five straight birdies, the junior finally broke through at the par-4, No. 6 hole (363 yards), dropping a putt from off the green for his first of five birdies on the day.

Following a nice up-and-down par save at the par-3, No. 7 hole (148 yards), DeMorat used his length to his advance by nearly reaching the par-5, No. 8 hole (527 yards) in two. After finding the front bunker, the native of Merritt Island, Fla., stuck a shot to four feet, which he made for his second birdie.

After reaching the green in two at the par-5, No. 13 hole (580 yards), DeMorat three putted from the front edge, which seemed to motivate the junior after the missed scoring chance.

He made a 14-foot downhill birdie putt on the par-4, No. 14 hole (443 yards) and spun an iron shot within five feet for a birdie on the par-3, No. 15 hole (205 yards).

He missed his fourth green of the day at the long par-3, No. 17 hole (211), hitting his tee shot into the right greenside bucker which led to his only bogey on Friday. He quickly got the shot back at the par-5, No. 18 hole (554 yards), reaching the home hole in two and two putting for his final under-par score of the afternoon.      

For the day, DeMorat hit 11-of-14 fairways, 14-of-18 greens and finished with 31 total putts. The round was his second under-par round during his history at the championship event after closing last year's tournament with a 2-under par 70.

Gabe Lench and Payton Taylor are tied for fourth place, one shot behind DeMorat following a 3-under par 69.

Lench posted four of his five birdies during the day on the closing nine, including a tap-in birdie at the challenging No. 16 hole (470 yards) and on No. 18.

After recording his lone bogey of the day on the par-4, No. 11 hole (440 yards), Taylor posted birdies on three of the next four holes. The junior nearly carded an ace on the par-3, No. 15 hole (205 yards), hitting the flagstick on his tee shot.

Isaiah Logue is tied for eighth place following a 2-under par 70, marking his sixth sub-par score in seven career rounds at the Big South Men's Golf Championship. After posting a bogey on the sloping green at the par-3, No. 4 hole (194 yards), the junior closed with three birdies and 11 pars, with two of the three birdies coming during the last three holes.

Kieran Vincent is Liberty's final golfer in the field, who is tied for 17th place following an even par 72 during his first collegiate conference championship event.

The Flames will be paired with golfers from No. 2 seed Campbell and No. 3 seed Gardner-Webb squads for the second round in a row. The three lead groups in the nine-team field will tee off beginning at 9:40 a.m., for the middle round of the three-day, 54-hole championship.