SAINT LEO, Fla. -- Saint Leo University sophomore Joey Savoie fired a second round 72 to lead the Lions to a seventh place finish in a stacked 17-team field at the 2014 Saint Leo Invitational, Tuesday at the Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.
24th-ranked Saint Leo posted a team score of 571 on the par 72, 7137-yard Lake Jovita South Course - just nine strokes off the pace, but behind six other teams ranked ahead of the Lions in the preseason poll including five among the top 10.
"It's an extremely strong field – one of the toughest of any tournament in the country – and I thought we played really solid," said Saint Leo head men's golf coach Chris Greenwood. "It's the first tournament of the year, and we had several guys playing in their first college tournament."
No. 7 USC-Aiken won the event after carding a team total of 562, four strokes ahead of No. 10 North Alabama and No. 5 Lynn who were tied for second. No. 1 Barry University was fourth with a 568, and No. 3 Nova Southeastern and No. 12 Columbus State each turned in team scores of 569 to tie for fifth.
Other ranked teams in the field included No. 8 West Florida (11th, 579), No. 9 Armstrong State (14th, 587), T-No. 14 Florida Southern (9th, 577), T-No. 14 Florida Tech (T-12th, 585), and No. 20 Georgia College (8th, 575).
Individually, Savoie combined his 72 with Monday's round of 66, for a two-day total of 138. He was tied with Columbus State's Robert Mize and Lynn's Manuel Torres for third on the leaderboard, and was the top Saint Leo finisher.
Liam Ainsworth carded a 71 on Tuesday for a total of 142, and was tied for 19th. C.J. Tyler fired a 70 in the second round for a two-day score of 145, and was tied for 37th along with the Lions' Casey Bannon. Bannon posted a round of 72 on Tuesday and shot 145 for the tournament.
Rounding out the Saint Leo scorers was Ryan Gendron, who posted rounds of 71 and 75 for a 146, and was tied for 44th.
"We weren't perfect out there, but the guys competed, they played hard, and they finished really strong today. For the first tournament of the year – I'm happy with it," said Greenwood. "You always want to win, but you have to look at how young we are, see what we're doing well and know that we're growing."
USC-Aiken's Brandon Robinson-Thompson combined his 64 from Monday with a one-under 71 on Tuesday to finish as the medalist with a 135. He was two strokes ahead of second-place Keith Greene from Lynn, who posted rounds of 69 and 69 for a two-day tally of 137.
The Lions will return to the course on Monday, Oct. 6, and Tuesday, Oct. 7, when they compete at the Nova Southeastern Shark Invitational in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's golf team, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
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