Flames Open Spring Season with 3rd Place Finish at Sea Best Invitational
No. 40 Liberty opened the spring portion of its 2022-23 schedule with a third-place showing at the Sea Best Invitational on Tuesday.
The Flames finished the Jacksonville-hosted event with a 14-over par 854 (291-280-283) following three trips around the TPC Sawgrass – Dye’s Valley Course (par 70, 6,790 yards).
Liberty kept pace with the top teams in the field by closing the tournament with a 3-over par 283, the third-best final round team score on Tuesday.
The 13-team tournament featured a strong field, including six teams who ranked inside the latest Golfstat top-75 ranking, led by No. 9 Florida who won the tournament.
Liberty was paced in the event by Jonathan Yaun, who posted his second top-10 finish of the season. Thanks to consecutive sub-70 rounds, Yaun finished the event in eighth place with a 1-under par 209 (75-66-68).
Round Recap – Liberty’s Starting Five:
- Jonathan Yaun – 8 1-under par 209 (75-66-68)
- Austin Barbin – T18 4-over par 214 (76-69-69)
- Josh Ryan – T33 8-over par 218 (74-71-73)
- Isaac Simmons – T36 9-over par 219 (72-74-73)
- Connor Polender – T42 11-over par 221 (70-76-75)
- Individual: Ike Joy – T22 5-over par 215 (75-71-69)
- Liberty has participated in this event 13 out of the last 14 years, posting 12 top-five finishes.
- No. 9 Florida showcased its top-ranked talent, winning the event by 23 strokes over No. 42 North Florida.
- The Gators were the only team in the 13-team field to finish in red figures, posting a winning score of 14-under par 826 (279-276-271).
- The Ospreys finished five shots clear of Liberty, taking second place with a final score of 9-over par 849 (286-275-288).
- Liberty finished two strokes ahead of No. 44 Louisville, who took fourth place with a 16-over par 856 (285-291-280).
- The 13-team field included five ASUN teams with North Florida and Liberty finishing ahead of the other three teams.
- FGCU finished in fifth place (20-over par 860), followed by sixth-place Lipscomb (35-over par 875) and eighth-place Jacksonville (41-over par 881).
- Florida teammates No. 66 Fred Biondi (72-68-64) and Ricky Castillo (65-72-67) finished tied for first place with a 6-under par 204. Biondi claimed medalist honors in a playoff.
Birdies and Bogeys – Liberty Team Notes:
- Yaun was one of eight players in the 78-man field to post an under-par score.
- Yaun led the field with 15 birdies and ranked first in par-5 scoring average (4.33).
- As a team, Liberty ranked third in the field in par-3 scoring average (3.08) and birdies (41).
- Austin Barbin closed the tournament with back-to-back rounds of 1-under par 69 to finish tied for 18th place with an overall 4-over par 214 (76-69-69).
- Ike Joy, who competed in the event as an individual, rounded out Liberty’s top-25 golfers, finishing tied for 22nd place with a 5-over par 215 (75-71-69).
Back on the Course – Liberty’s Next Event:
- 2023 Gator Invitational (Feb. 11-12)
- Mark Bostick Golf Course (Gainesville, Fla.)
- Hosted by Florida
- Par 70, 6,701 yards
Main Photo: Jonathan Yaun