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Better Day Helps Flames Improve at Linger Longer

March 25, 2012  Eatonton, Ga.  RSS
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Niklas Lindstrom was Liberty's top finisher at the Linger Longer Invitational, posting a five-over par 221.

Niklas Lindstrom was Liberty's top finisher at the Linger Longer Invitational, posting a five-over par 221.

Liberty posted the best of its three rounds of the weekend on Sunday, helping the Flames move up the leaderboard on the final day of the Linger Longer Invitational.

No. 31/31 Liberty (Golfweek/Golfstat) closed its final round at the Kennesaw State and Mercer-hosted event with a three-over par 291. The Flames' best effort on The Great Waters Golf Club allowed Liberty to finish the 54-hole event in seventh place with a 25-over par 889 (292-306-291).

No. 2/7 Alabama circled the Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course with a tournament best 14-under par 274 on Sunday to wrap up its second straight team victory at the tournament. The Crimson Tide won the event with a 26-under par 838 total (278-286-274).

No. 26/25 Georgia took second place, finishing 14 shots behind Alabama, despite finishing with a 12-under par 852 final score (290-279-283).

No. 30/28 Chattanooga took third place with six-over par 870 (289-288-293), followed by co-host No. 41/46 Kennesaw State, who carded a nine-over par 873 (286-292-295). Rounding out the other Top 50 team in the 12-team field was No. 28/27 Oklahoma, who finished fifth with a 15-over par 879 (292-292-295).

A pair of Top 30 individually ranked golfers made a charge to try to capture medalist honors, as No. 18 Cory Whitsett of Alabama and No. 21 Stephan Jaeger of Chattanooga were a combined 12-under par on the day to climb up the leaderboard.

Georgia's Nick Reach was also able to find red numbers with a four-under par 68 on Sunday to secure a playoff position with Whitsett. Reach (71-69-68) and Whitsett (73-71-64) finished the event with matching eight-under par 208 totals, with Whitsett winning the individual title on the fourth playoff hole.

Four out of five of Liberty's players posted improved rounds over their second round score to help the Flames move up the leaderboard on Sunday.

Niklas Lindstrom was in position to give Liberty a pair of golfers in red figures on Sunday, as the sophomore stood at three-under par through 13 holes. However, three bogeys and a double bogey during a four-hole stretch dropped him back to two-over par on the day and five-over par 221 (70-77-74) to finish the event in 30th place.

Ian McConnell followed one shot behind Lindstrom to tie for 31st place with a six-over par 222 (74-73-75). The sophomore managed to card two birdies and an eagle on the par-5, No. 6 hole, but followed with five bogeys and a double bogey to score a three-over par 75 on Sunday.

Mathieu Fenasse posted his third sub-70 round as a Flame on Sunday, helping him secure a share of 35th place with a seven-over par 223 (77-77-69). The freshman bogeyed the par-4, No. 10 hole, his starting hole, but followed with 13 pars and three birdies to card Liberty's lowest round on the par-72, 7,073-yard course during the weekend.

Robert Karlsson rebounded from his eight-over par 80 during the second round to post a one-over par 73 on Sunday and finish tied for 37th place with an eight-over par 224 (71-80-73). On Sunday, Karlsson carded five bogeys and four birdies.

Liberty's final golfer on the course was Max McKay, who closed with his second straight improved round to finish in 69th place with a 23-over par 239 (84-79-76).

The Flames will have one last tournament to tune up their games before heading to Ninety Six, S.C., to defend the Big South Men's Golf Championship on April 17-19.

Liberty's final regular-season event will be on April 8-9, when the Flames travel to Wallace, N.C., to participate in the River Landing Intercollegiate. The East Carolina-hosted event will be played at the River Landing Golf Club in Wallace, N.C.

The Flames found the River Landing Golf Club to their linking last year, finishing second out of 14 teams with a 20-under par 844 (278-277-289).