No. 29 Liberty had its best showing in eight appearances at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, weathering challenges from a field that included 10 top-75 ranked teams to finish the tournament in third place on Sunday.
The only team to best the Flames during the final round of the event was tournament host Florida. The No. 33 ranked Gator fired a 4-under par 276 on their home course, the Mark Bostick Golf Course (par 70, 6,701 yards).
Liberty finished the event in third place with an overall 2-over par 842 (285-277-280). The Flames finished two shots behind Florida's even par 840 (282-282-276) and three shots behind tournament winner and No. 3 ranked Vanderbilt's 1-under par 839 (282-275-282).
Round Recap – Liberty's Starting Five: • Ervin Chang: T7 2-under par 208 (73-63-72) • Gabe Lench: T12 even par 210 (69-73-68) • Jonathan Yaun: T18 2-over par 212 (71-71-70) • Alexandre Fuchs: T30 5-over par 215 (72-70-73) • Kieran Vincent: T49 10-over par 220 (75-75-70)
Field Reflections: • No. 3 Vanderbilt was the only team in the field to finish the tournament with an under-par score, leading the 15-team field with a 1-under par 839 (282-275-282). • No. 33 Florida led the field during the final round, closing the event with a 4-under par 276 to account for the second-best 18-hole total during the 54-hole tournament. • Liberty, along with Missouri and Michigan, followed behind Florida during the final round, closing the event with the second-best team score on Sunday – an even par 282. • Ten teams in the 15-team field are currently ranked in the top 75 in the latest Golfstat national rankings.
Birdies and Bogeys – Liberty Team Notes: • Liberty posted its best showing in this tournament, which it has participated in each year since 2012. • Prior to this year's third-place finish, Liberty's best showing at a SunTrust Gator Invitational where sixth-place finishes in 2012, 2016 and 2018. • Liberty finished the tournament four shots ahead of No. 19 North Florida, one of its new ASUN Conference foes, who took fourth place with a 6-over par 846 (277-287-282). • Liberty's second-round 3-under par 277 matches the Flames' lowest 18-hole total of the season. The Flames were led by junior Ervin Chang, who finished the tournament tied for seventh place with a 2-under par 208 (73-63-72). • Chang has posted a under-par total in four out of five events during the 2018-19 season and currently leads the Flames with a 71.40 stroke average on the year. • Gabe Lench finished tied for 12th place with an even par 210 (69-73-68). • Lench bookended sub-70 rounds during the tournament with the "Sunshine State" native posting his second and third sub-70 rounds of the season in his home state. • Freshman Jonathan Yaun posted his best 54-hole of his rookie season, finishing tied for 18th place with a two-over par 212 (71-71-70).
Back on the Course – Liberty's Next Event: • 2019 General Hacker Championship (March 11-12) • The Dunes Golf Club (Myrtle Beach, S.C.) • Hosted by Coastal Carolina • Par 72, 7,233 yards