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    Flames Open Spring Season with 3rd Place Finish at Sea Best Invitational

    Jan 31, 2023 | Ponte Vedra Beach Fla | Golf

    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)

    Field Reflections:

    • 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