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Flames in Second at SeaBest Seaford Invitational

January 30, 2012  Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.  RSS
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Robert Karlsson is in fourth place heading into the final round of the 2012 SeaBest Seafood Invitational.

Robert Karlsson is in fourth place heading into the final round of the 2012 SeaBest Seafood Invitational.

The leaderboard at this annual Jacksonville-hosted event once again looks similar to previous seasons, including No. 30/36 Liberty finding itself in second place following 36 holes of action at the 2012 SeaBest Seaford Invitational.

Defending champion Florida, who is ranked No. 37 in the latest Golfweek rankings and No. 34 by Golfstat, stands atop the leaderboard once again.

The Gators are 11 shots clear of Liberty after completing two rounds at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course with an 11-over par 587 (303-284). Florida was the only team on the day to break par, carding a four-under par 284 during the afternoon flight, which was a 19-stroke improvement over its first round score.

Liberty and No. 5/7 North Florida finished the opening round tied atop the leaderboard, with both programs posting a first round score of 13-over par 301. The two programs are familiar with the position after finishing last year's event tied for third place.

The Flames were able to join Florida and fellow Big South foe Coastal Carolina in breaking the 300-stroke mark during the afternoon flight to secure a second-place standing.

Heading into tomorrow's final round on the par-72, 6,900-yard course, Liberty is in second place with a 22-over par 598 (301-297), followed by North Florida's 29-over par 605 (301-304).

Coastal Carolina (315-294) and Old Dominion (308-301) share fourth place, with both teams finishing the first day's action with a 33-over par 609.

The final Top 50 program in the field is No. 44/41 East Carolina. The Pirates will need to do some work to get back into contention after carding a 37-over par 613 (315-298) to share seventh place.

A third Big South program is in the 13-team field, with Charleston Southern carding a 51-over par 627 (315-312) to take 12th place after 36 holes of play.

Liberty's Robert Karlsson had his string of three straight rounds at par or better at the home course of the PGA Tour snapped during the opening round, with the senior carding a three-over par 75. However, he was one of seven golfers in the 69-man field to find red numbers during the afternoon flight, birdieing four out of the first seven holes to post a two-under par 70.

Karlsson, who is ranked No. 28 in the country by Golfweek, stands alone in fourth place with a one-over par 145 (75-70) and is only three shots behind tournament leader T.J. Vogel of Florida heading into the final round (two-under par 142/73-69).

Karlsson finds himself in a familiar posting in the tournament, as he finished second at last year's event with a three-under par 213 (72-72-69).

Ian McConnell ranked second in the field with nine birdies on the day and finds himself tied for fifth place with a two-over par 146 (71-75). The sophomore was the second best golfer on the course coming out of the first round, after notching six of his nine birdies on the day during his opening 18 holes of play.

After an opening round four-over par 76, Niklas Lindstrom struggled out of the gates during the afternoon with three bogeys and two double bogeys during his first 10 holes. But the Swedish-born golfer rebounded with a pair of birdies to help secure himself an overall share of 31st place with a 10-over par 154 (76-78).

Chase Marinell (81-75) and Max McKay (79-77) both showed improvement during the second round and are two of six golfers currently tied for 36th place with a 12-over par 156.

Marinell shaved six strokes off his opening round score thanks to just three bogeys and a birdie on the par-4 No. 18 hole. During the morning flight, the sophomore had two birdies, five bogeys and three double bogeys, including a six on the 462-yard closing hole.

McKay ranked seventh in the field with seven birdies during his opening 36 holes of action, but the under-par scores were offset by seven bogeys and six double bogeys, including one on the infamous No. 17, par-3 island green during his opening round.

Liberty's starting five will head off the No. 1 tee tomorrow morning beginning at 9:15 a.m., along with golfers Florida and North Florida in search of this year's tournament title.