CONOVER, N.C. -- The No. 7 Saint Leo men's golf team jumped to second place at the 2015 NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship after carding a second round score of 6-under par 278. As a result, the Lions are currently Even par 568 (290-278) after 36 holes and are just one stroke shy of the leader USC-Aiken heading into Wednesday's third and final round of stroke play.
Saint Leo is one stroke behind South Carolina Aiken (567, -1) on the leaderboard, and two strokes ahead of No. 1 Nova Southeastern (570, +2) in third. Lynn and Central Missouri are tied for fourth place (573, +5) while Simon Fraser (574, +6), Barry (579, +11) and Chico State (580, +12) round out the top-eight. After three rounds of complete stroke play, the top-eight teams will advance to the Medal/Match Play Thursday.
The Lions opened the day with the first tee time off the first hole, and despite a minor fog delay, Saint Leo jumped to a quick start on the Rock Barn Golf & Spa in Conover, N.C. Through the first three holes, the Lions were -3, and only improved from there. Saint Leo carded seven birdies on the first four holes as a team. Overall, Saint Leo notched 20 second round birdies and shaved 12 strokes off its first round score of 290. The Lions 36-hole score of 568 is even par.
Four of the five Saint Leo golfers shot par or better and the Lions were one of three teams to shoot under par in the second round. Saint Leo's score of 278 is the lowest individual round team score to be turned in.
All-American Ryan Gendron carded the Lions low score of 67 (-4) on the par 71, 7,021 yards Jones Course. Gendron's 67 is the second lowest round of the tournament. The sophomore has collected a tournament high 10 birdies through 36-holes and enters the third and final round tied for first with Sam Migdal (Central Missouri). Gendron bettered his first round score of 70 by three strokes in the second round and enters Wednesday with a score of 137 (-5). Gendron leads the field with an average Par 5 score of 4.50, and has scored -3 on the Courses three Par 5 holes through 36-holes. . On the Par 3 holes, Gendron averages a 2.75.
Joey Savoie is not far behind Gendron at -1. The sophomore is tied for seventh place with six other golfers, including three fellow Sunshine State Conference individuals. Savoie also bettered his first round score and improved to -1 on the tournament.
Liam Ainsworth was the third Lion to shoot under par in the second round. Ainsworth went 3-under par on the front nine holes, and remained steady on the back to finish -1. The junior's 70 improved his score to 143 (+1) for the tournament. Ainsworth is tied for 18th heading into Wednesday.
The Lions will be paired with USC-Aiken and Nova Southeastern during Wednesday's third round. The teams will tee-off on hole No. 1 beginning at 12:55 pm. Live scoring throughout the championship can be found on Golfstat.com.
2nd - Team 568 (E) 290-278
T1 - Ryan Gendron 137 (-5) 70-67
T7 - Joey Savoie 141 (-1) 71-70
T18 - Liam Ainsworth 143 (+1) 73-70
T45 - James Jessop 147 (+5) 76-71
T95 - Casey Bannon 157 (+15) 78-79
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