SunTrust Gator Invitational Live Stats
No. 29 Liberty continues its early spring season Florida swing this weekend when the Flames make a return trip to the SunTrust Gator Invitational.
The tournament is hosted by Florida on the Gator's home course, the Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,701 yards) in Gainesville, Fla. The course has been Florida's home golf course since the 1960s and has hosted the Gator Invitational since 1978.
The 2019 SunTrust Gator Invitational starts play on Saturday where the 15-team field will play 36 continuous holes with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. The 18-hole final round will be played on Sunday, with golfers going off the No. 1 and No. 10 tees between 8 and 10 a.m.
Now on The Tee – Liberty's Starting Five (Season Stroke Average): • Gabe Lench (71.80) • Ervin Chang (71.92) • Kieran Vincent (72.07) • Jonathan Yaun (75.00) • Alexandre Fuchs (74.53)
Tournament Reflections – Liberty's Previous Showing at the SunTrust Gator Invitational: • The Flames are no stranger to Florida's on-campus golf course, having participated in this event the last seven seasons. • Liberty's best showing at this event during its seven trips to Gainesville, Fla., were sixth-place finishes in 2012, 2016 and 2018. • Last year, the Flames carded a 2-over par 842 (282-285-275) to finish in sixth place. • Liberty finished four shots behind fifth-place UCF's 2-under par 838 (274-284-280) and four shots ahead of seventh-place Missouri's 6-over par 846 (279-281-286). • Ervin Chang, who was coming off medalist honors at the 2018 Sea Best Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., continued his strong play by leading the Flames at the Gator Invitational. • Chang was one of 19 players to finish the event in red figures, sharing eighth place with a 4-under par 206 (70-68-68). • Gabe Lench also participated in this event and the "Sunshine State" native finished tied for 27th place with a 2-over par 212 (71-71-70).
From the 18th Green – Recapping Liberty's Last Time Out: • Liberty opened its spring season schedule with a fourth-place showing at the Sea Best Invitational, Feb. 4-5, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. • The 14-team tournament field included nine programs who finished the fall season ranked in the top 50 in the Golfstat national rankings. • Liberty finished the event in fourth place with an 11-over par 851 (279-289-283). • The Flames had a three-shot cushion on either side of them. Liberty finished three shots ahead of No. 26 NC State (14-over par 854/290-274-290) and three shots behind then ranked No. 46 Florida (8-over par 848/278-281-289). • Liberty's Kieran Vincent finished two shots out of the playoff, sharing fourth place with a 2-under par 208 (68-73-67).
Birdies and Bogeys – Liberty Team Notes: • Liberty claimed six spots in the Golfstat national rankings following its fourth-place showing at the Sea Best Invitational, as the Flames ended the fall ranked No 35 in the country. • The Flames ended the fall with a 289.83 team stroke average, which ranks ahead of the second-best fall average in program history (290.75 in 2010/school record is a 283.07 set in 2016). • After winning five of the last eight Big South titles (2011, 2012, 2014, 216 and 2018), the Flames will be looking for a different avenue to the NCAA Regionals during their first season of competition in the ASUN Conference. • During the offseason, 17 of Liberty's 20 NCAA Division I athletics programs moved their conference affiliation from the Big South Conference to the ASUN Conference. Liberty was a member of the Big South Conference for 27 years, starting its membership during the 1991-92 athletic year.
Scouting the Field (15 teams): • The Flames will face another strong field this weekend as 10 of the teams in the 15-team field enter the event ranked in the top 75 in the country: Vanderbilt (No. 3), North Florida (No. 19), Liberty (No. 29), USF (No. 30), Florida (No. 33), West Virginia (No. 38), Georgia Southern (No. 41), Mississippi State (No. 54), Missouri (No. 62) and Jacksonville (No. 69). • For the second weekend in a row, Liberty will see some of its fellow ASUN Conference members, as the SunTrust Gator Invitational field includes No. 19 North Florida and No. 69 Jacksonville.
Looking at the Latest Rankings (Golfstat rankings as of 2/12/19): Coastal Carolina (No. 80) Florida (No. 33) Georgia Southern (No. 41) Jacksonville (No. 69) Liberty (No. 29) Michigan (No. 94) Mississippi State (No. 54) Missouri (No. 62) North Florida (No. 19) Princeton (No. 141) Southern Illinois (No. 125) UCF (No. 86) USF (No. 30) Vanderbilt (No. 3) West Virginia (No. 38)
Course Information: • Mark Bostick Golf Course (Gainesville, Fla.) • Par 70, 6,701 yards
Following the Flames at SunTrust Gator Invitational: • Live stats will be available at Golfstat.com • Twitter @LibertyGolf • Instagram @LibertyGolf • Round 1 Tee Time: Saturday at 8:00 a.m./EST (shotgun start)
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