SAINT LEO, Fla. – Making its fourth consecutive appearance, No. 2 Saint Leo will be one of 20 teams heading to Howey-in-the-Hills, this weekend to prepare for the 2016 NCAA South/Southeast Men's Golf Regional held at the Mission Inn Resort & Club on Monday, May 2nd.
The 54-hole event will be played in three days starting on the second and going through the fourth. The Regional is hosted by the Central Sports Commission and the Sunshine State Conference where the 108 participants will play on the El Campeón course.
Saint Leo enters after a second place finish at the Sunshine State Conference Championships on April 19th with a final total of 889 (+35). Ryan Gendron led the team with a 221 (+5) to tie for second, after being in the hunt for the individual title over the last three holes of the tournament.
Liam Ainsworth came in second on the team with a tie for sixth with a 223 (+7), climbing 11 spots in the final round. Joey Savoie tied for eighth with a 225 (+9), while Hugo Bernard slid 11 spots to tie for 20th with a 234 (+18). Griffin Clark rounded out the five golfers for the Lions and kept Saint Leo in the top-25 individuals with a tie for 23rd with a 237 (+21).
Following the conference championships, four golfers – Liam Ainsworth, Ryan Gendron, Joey Savoie and Hugo Bernard – were all named to the 2016 Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Semifinalist list as members of the top-30 golfers in the nation. The four players allowed Saint Leo to have the most golfers on the list as the SSC topped the charts with 12 from the same conference. RELEASE
Ainsworth, Savoie and Bernard were all named to the All-SSC Second Team on Friday, April 29th by the league's office. The trio of golfers were voted on by the conference men's golf coaches and were among one of four school with three golfers on the First or Second Teams. RELEASE
In the NCAA Postseason
The Lions' best finish in the NCAA postseason came last year when Saint Leo placed fifth out of 20 teams at the Regional to advance to the NCAA Championships. The Lions finished third in stroke play; defeated Simon Fraser University, 3.5 to 1.5, in the quarterfinals; and dropped a 4 to 1 decision to Lynn University in the national semifinals.
The top five teams from each of the four regionals will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championship, along with the top two individual competitors from each regional not playing for the five advancing teams. The national championship will be held May 17-21 at Green Valley Ranch in Denver, Colo.
NCAA Division II South/Southeast Regional selections
Mission Inn Resort and Club (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.)
1. Lynn (Automatic Qualifier: Sunshine State Conference)
2. Saint Leo
3. West Florida (Automatic Qualifier: Gulf South Conference)
4. Florida Southern
5. Nova Southeastern
8. West Georgia
9. North Alabama
10. Miles College (Automatic Qualifier: Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference)
Reed Lindsey, Delta State
Chris Rogers, Valdosta State
Gaelen Trew, Florida Tech
Alex Clark, Delta State
4. Columbus State (Automatic Qualifier: Peach Belt Conference)
5. Georgia Southwestern
6. Lincoln Memorial (Automatic Qualifier: South Atlantic Conference)
7. Limestone (Automatic Qualifier: Conference Carolinas)
8. Young Harris
9. North Greenville
Brad Hawkins, Tusculum
Keith Egan, Clayton State
Nick Adams, Mount Olive
Will Bundy, Coker
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.