Max McKay fired his best round of the fall during the final round to help the Flames finish in fifth place at the Rees Jones Invitational.
The Flames fired the third-best final round on Tuesday at the Rees Jones Invitational, but it was not enough to keep pace with eventual tournament victor Kennesaw State. A year after Liberty and Kennesaw State found themselves in a playoff on the same Haig Point Golf Course, the Owls and the Flames once again excelled during the closing round. However, Kennesaw State was nine shots better than any other team in the 13-team field on Tuesday, claiming its second-straight title by four strokes. The Owls closed the two-day, 54-hole event with a one-over par 289, allowing them to finish atop the leaderboard with a 30-over par 894 (310-295-289). The next four teams on the leaderboard finished within eight shots of each other, starting with second-place South Carolina. The Gamecocks entered the day in the same position, trailing Iowa State, and finished with a 34-over par 898 (305-293-300). Wake Forest (306-296-298), the only other team to best Liberty's final round score on Tuesday, finished tied with Iowa State (298-296-306) with a 36-over par 900. Liberty secured its fifth-place finish at the Michigan State hosted event by carding consecutive rounds of 12-over par 300. The Flames would finish the tournament 12 shots back of Kennesaw State with a 42-over 906 (306-300-300). Iowa State's third-place finish was due largely in part to the play of Nate McCoy. The senior captured his second career individual title, besting the 66-man field by nine strokes. He was the only player in red figures, finishing with a six-under par 210 (68-70-72). Kennesaw State's Ben Greene finished in second place with a three-over par 219 (77-69-73), while South Carolina's Sean Kelly secured third place with a four-over par 220 (81-69-70). Liberty's top finisher in the event was Robert Karlsson, who finished in a three-way tie for seventh place with a six-over par 222 (74-75-73). Max McKay fired the best round of the day by a Flame and finished the event in 19th place with an 11-over par 227 (79-76-72). The junior closed the event with a level-par round of 72, his best 18-hole total since the opening round of the 2011 Big South Men's Golf Championship. Liberty's next two golfers finished with two strokes of McKay. Chase Marinell was one of six golfers to share 20th place with a 12-over par 228 (74-77-78), while Ian McConnell shared 26th place with a 13-over par 229 (79-72-78). Andrew Colvin rounded out Liberty's five-man roster at the Rees Jones Invitational, finishing in 60th place with a 27-over par 243 (80-81-82). The Flames will close out their fall slate later this month when they travel to Powells Point, N.C., to participate in the ODU/OBX Collegiate Invitational on Oct. 23-25. Liberty is quite familiar with the three-day, 54-hole event, hosted at the Kilmarlic Golf Club. The Flames have competed at the tournament five out of the last six seasons, spotlighted by a third-place finish last fall.