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Flames in 12th Place at Day 2 of NCAA Austin Regional

May 16, 2017  Austin, Texas  RSS
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Liberty's Payton Taylor during the second round of the NCAA Austin Regional.

Liberty's Payton Taylor during the second round of the NCAA Austin Regional.

No. 8 seed Liberty carded its highest 18-hole total of the 2016-17 season on Tuesday and finds itself in 12th place after 36 holes of play at the NCAA Austin Regional.

The Flames entered the day tied for eighth place and four shots out of the coveted fifth-place position. The top five teams following play on Wednesday will advance to the NCAA Men's Golf National Championship, May 26-31, at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

However, Liberty dropped four spots down the leaderboard after carding a 21-over par 305 on the University of Texas Golf Club (par 71, 7,355 yards).

The Flames enter tomorrow's final round with a 31-over par 599 (294-305), 16 shots behind current fifth-place Arizona State's 15-over par 583 (290-293).

No. 3 seed Texas, the event's host, allowed No. 1 seed Oklahoma State back into the picture to claim the regional title entering the event's final round.

The Longhorns lead the 14-team field with a 3-under par 565 (277-288), but posted a score 11 shots higher than yesterday. The Cowboys were the only team in the field to finish in red numbers on Tuesday, posting a 2-under par 282 to place them four shots back with an overall score of 1-over par 569 (287-282).

No. 4 seed Ole Miss holds down third place with an 8-over par 576 (282-294) following 36 holes of play, while No. 9 seed Iowa State is in fourth place with a 14-over par 582 (290-292).

No. 11 seed College of Charleston is three shots back of No. 5 seed Arizona State with an 18-over par 586 (291-295).

Texas' Doug Ghim, the No. 18 individual ranked golfer in the country, currently leads the 75-man field with a 5-under par 137 (68-69). Iowa State's Nick Voke is one shot back with a 4-under par 138 (71-67), thanks to a stellar 4-under par 67 during a blustery day on Tuesday.

Liberty's top individual golfer in the field is Isaiah Logue, who remains in contention to individually qualify for the national championship despite closing with three-straight bogeys.

Following the conclusion of play tomorrow, the highest ranked individual not on one of the five teams advancing to the national championship will move on to play in Sugar Grove, Ill.

A trio of players currently holds that spot with a 1-under par 141 in Wake Forest's Will Zalatoris (69-72), Georgia Southern's Steven Fisk (69-72) and Oklahoma State's Kristoffer Ventura (71-70).

Logue is three shots behind the 1-under par grouping, as he is tied for 17th place with a 36-hole score at 2-over par 144 (69-75).

Liberty's junior dropped a shot at the par-3, No. 12 hole, his third of the day, following a poor cross green chip on the 190-yard hole.

However, the left-handed golfer used the prevailing winds on the dogleg left, No. 13 hole (par 4, 375 yards) to drive over the green and get up and down for birdie to quickly get the shot back.

The Fairfield, Pa., native dropped another shot at the Texas course's home hole, finding the greenside bunker right at No. 18 (par 4, 495 yards) and not being able to make a 12-foot par putt attempt.

After missing the first five fairways of the day, the junior started to gain some accuracy by hitting seven of his last eight, but was unable to get anything close on the greens to give himself birdie chances.

Logue closed his round with three-straight bogeys, first dropping a shot at No. 7 (par 4, 462 yards) after finding the hazard left off the tee. A great iron shot to five feet allowed him to drop only one shot on the hole.

He also posted bogeys on the par-3, No. 8 hole (213 yards) and par-5, No. 9 hole (605 yards) after missing the green on both his approach shots.

On the day, Logue hit 8-of-14 fairways and 8-of-18 greens in regulation. The junior kept himself in the round with a solid short game around the green, having seven one-putt holes and finishing with 29 total putts.

Kieran Vincent is currently tied for 34th place with a 7-over par 149 (74-75). The Big South Freshman of the Year did lead the Flames on the day with four birdies, but offset those under-par scores with six bogeys and a double bogey.

Gabe Lench is one shot behind Vincent and his tied for 39th place with an 8-over par 150 (74-76). The sophomore had three birdies during his second round, posting under-par scores on the par-4 No. 4 and No. 6 (406 yards) holes, as well as his final hole at No. 9.

Mickey DeMorat is tied for 67th place with a 15-over par 157 (78-79) and Payton Taylor is tied for 71st place with an 18-over par 160 (77-83).

Liberty will begin play on the par-4, No. 10 hole (422 yards) for the second day in a row, starting at 8:25 a.m. (CST). The Flames will be paired with golfers from Wichita State and Kansas during the final round of the NCAA Austin Regional.

Photos provided by Brendan Maloney: