LAKELAND, Fla. – The No. 2 Saint Leo men's golf team opened the spring season with a victory at the 35th annual Matlock Collegiate Classic held by Florida Southern at the Lone Palm Golf Club, which wrapped up Tuesday, February 9th. Saint Leo shot a team total 869 (+5) as Liam Ainsworth walked away with the individual title after carding a 75 (+3) on the final day.
This is the fifth straight year a Sunshine State Conference school has won the event as the No. 2 Saint Leo Lions defeated eight other top-25 teams in the Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll by eight strokes. In the field of play, Saint Leo prevailed over No. 4 West Florida (T2nd), No. 6 Barry (T2nd), No. 3 Nova Southeastern (4th), No. 5 Florida Southern (T8th), No. 8 Lynn (T8th), No. 7 USC- Aiken (7th), No. 21 Florida Tech (8th) and No. 23 Columbus State (T9th).
Liam Ainsworth fired off a 75 (+3) on the final day of play to finish with a tournament total of 215 (+1). Ainsworth shot a 70 (-2) in the first round of play Monday morning and then followed that up with another 70 (-2) in the second round Monday afternoon to finish tied for first at 140 (-4) heading into Tuesday's final round.
Joey Savoie, who tied for fifth at the classic, carded a 73 (+1) on the final round to finish with a 217 total (68+76+73). Ryan Gendron tied for ninth after booking a 73 (+1) on the final round to finish at 219 total (71+75+73).
Hugo Bernard improved 21 places in the leader board as he fired off a 71 (-1) on a day where most of the scores were in the positives. Bernard finished in a tie for 20th with a final count of 221 (77+73+71).
Casey Bannon shot a 78 (+6) in the final round to make up his final total of 229 (74+77+78) for the tournament to finish in a tie for 41st.
Saint Leo returns to action March 29th when the Lions host the two day South/Southeastern Regional Preview at the Mission Inn Resort & Club in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.