CONOVER, N.C. – The Saint Leo University men's golf team got the shots it needed on the final hole from sophomores Ryan Gendron and Joey Savoie, and posted a 3.5 to 1.5 victory over Simon Fraser University in Thursday's medal-match play quarterfinal at the NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship, held at the Rock Barn Golf & Spa.
The Lions advance to Thursday afternoon's semifinals, where they will face Lynn University. The first golfers for each squad will tee off starting at 1:50 p.m. on the par 71, 7,021-yard course.
Saint Leo needed its final two competitors, Gendron and Savoie, to both either win or tie on no. 9, the final hole of the two teams' quarterfinal match, to survive the challenge from Simon Fraser. Savoie was down one to the Clan's Kevin Vigna entering the final hole, while Gendron was even with SFU's Alan Tolusso.
Savoie managed par on the par 3 hole no. 9 while Vigna bogeyed, and both golfers were tied at +4 to split the point. Gendron also made par on no. 9 with Tolusso bogeying the hole, leaving Gendron up one at +2 and giving the match to the Lions.
Junior Liam Ainsworth and redshirt freshman James Jessop also posted match victories over Simon Fraser to help Saint Leo clinch the quarterfinal. Ainsworth won by two strokes at even par over Simon Fraser's Bret Thompson, while Jessop shot a +8 and posted a one-stroke win over the Clan's John Mlikotic.
Pairings for the semifinal versus Lynn are as follows:
James Jessop (Saint Leo) vs. Keith Greene (Lynn)
Joey Savoie (Saint Leo) vs. Martin Cancino (Lynn)
Liam Ainsworth (Saint Leo) vs. Elliott Whitley (Lynn)
Ryan Gendron (Saint Leo) vs. Jose Andres Miranda (Lynn)
Casey Bannon (Saint Leo ) vs. Mateo Gomez (Lynn)
A complete recap of today's matches will be posted Thursday night following the completion of the semifinal.
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.