College Golf

Liberty runs away with Rees Jones title at Haig Point

info@islandpacket.comOctober 3, 2012 

Liberty University junior golfer Niklas Lindstrom hits a shot during the final round of the 2012 Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational at Haig Point on Daufuskie Island, S.C. Lindstrom and the Flames are back again for this year's tournament.


Liberty's Niklas Lindstrom took medalist honors with a 3-under-par total of 213 for 54 holes and the Flames had the top four individual scorers as they cruised to a 24-stroke victory over East Carolina at the fifth annual Rees Jones Collegiate Invitational at Haig Point Club on Daufuskie Island.

Host South Carolina finished third in the 12-team standings.

Lindstrom, a junior who didn't make the travel squad for this tournament a year ago, shot a 2-under-par 70 Tuesday to finish ahead of his second-place teammates by six strokes. Ian McConnnell, a junior from Riverview, Fla., who led after the first 36 holes with a 2-under 142, finished tied with Max McKay, a senior from Jacksonville, Fla., and Chase Marinell, a junior from Ft. Myers, Fla., at 3-over 219.

Liberty's team score of 6-over-par 870 in the play-five-count-four format was lowest in the tournament's short history. East Carolina rallied to overtake host South Carolina for second place with a total of 894.

The Gamecocks, who were led by Dykes Harbin, were third with 896. Harbin, a senior from Augusta, Ga., posted a 5-over total of 221 to take sixth place among individuals.

Defending team champion Kennesaw State (2010 and 2011 winner) finished eighth among the 12 teams with a 921 total.

"I wanted to break par today and finish with an under-par total," said Lindstrom, a 22-year-old who was a top-20 ranked amateur in Sweden before coming to school at Liberty in Lynchburg, Va., sight unseen in August 2010. "I've been working on my short game and my driving, and that has been the key. I played well in my last tournament and I felt I had my game going.

"Last year, I didn't play good enough and I was outside the team for this tournament. Now I have rebounded and it feels really good."

Lindstrom's went 73-70-70 and his final round was good enough to tie for low score on the day. It was one of just four scores under par for the third round. Overall, there were only seven scores under par for the three rounds on the 7,380-yard, par 72 Rees Jones-designed course and Lindstrom had two of them.

"I'm excited about how well the guys played," eighth-year head coach Jeff Thomas said. "This team has a lot of potential. I think we can be even better if everyone starts playing well. If they start pushing each other, the sky's the limit."


Tuesday at the Jones Signature Course, Haig Point, Daufuskie Island, par 72

Team Scores

1. Liberty 870, 2. East Carolina 894, 3. South Carolina 896, 4. Charlotte 906, 5. Winthrop 909, 6. UNC Wilmington 910, 7. Iowa State 915, 8. Kennesaw State 921, 9. Charleston Southern 936, 10. Francis Marion 939, 11. Tennessee Tech 950, 12. Presbyterian.

Top 20 Individuals

1. Nicklas Lindstrom, Liberty 73-70-70--213

T2. Jimmy Beck, Kennesaw St. 75-74-70--219

T2. Chase Marinell, Liberty 71-74-74--219

T2. Ian McConnell, Liberty 68-74-77--219

T2. Max McKay, Liberty 72-72-75--219

6. Dykes Harbin, USC 73-71-77--221

T7. Zach Edmondson, East Carolina 73-78-72--223

T7. Stephen Lavenets, East Carolina 74-78-71--223

T7. Matthew NeSmith, USC 73-78-72--223

10. Kenneth Svanum, Francis Marion 76-76-72--224

T11. Thomas Bass, UNCW 79-75-71--225

T11. Kamito Hirai, Winthrop 69-77-79--225

T13. Ryan Ebner, East Carolina 77-73-76--226

T13. Dean Hester, USC 78-75-73--226

T15. Will Murphy, USC 76-75-76--227

T15. Caleb Sturgeon, USC 75-72-80--227

T18. Cameorn Bell, Winthrop 73-77-78--228

T18. Eric Brady, East Carolina 78-76-74--228

T18. Collin Foster, Iowa St. 74-77-77--228

T18. Payne McLeod, UNCW 78-74-76--228

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