SAINT LEO, Fla. – The 2016 NCAA Division II defending national champions, preseason No. 1 Saint Leo University men's golf, opens their season with their home tournament, the Saint Leo Invitational, on Sept. 19-20 at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.
The Lions look to defend their title when they kick off the season with their first fall tournament at their home course. Saint Leo finished in third a year ago, where the Lions were led by Daniel Pico (T6, 207), Joey Savoie (T12, 209) and Liam Ainsworth (T18, 213).
Ryan Gendron, the only returner to the starting five from the 2015 Saint Leo Invitational, will look to improve his position where he tied for 32nd last year with a 217 (+1).
Casey Bannon, James Jessop, Marcus Crowe and Riley Goss all played as individuals last year and will be back in action this year at the invitational. Bannon tied for 51st with a 222 (+6), as Jessop and Crowe tied for 55th with a 223 (+7). Goss tied for 69th out of the 90 golfers last year with a 234 (+11).
This season the Lions add three newcomers to the roster in Nilo Sanchez, Simen Syftestad, and Gustav Tegel. Sanchez comes to Saint Leo from Lutz, Fla., as Syftestad ventures from Kviteseid, Norway, and Tegel from Södertälje, Sweden.
The Lions return nine golfers to the roster this season in seniors Casey Bannon and Ryan Gendron, juniors Marcus Crowe, Riley Goss, Colby Tyler, Colin Warren, and a trio of sophomores Hugo Bernard, James Jessop and Noah Purvis.
Teams in the field ...
Of the 12 teams playing Monday and Tuesday, six are ranked in the top 25. No. 1 Saint Leo, No. 2 Florida Southern, No. 8 USC-Aiken, No. 17 Columbus State, No. 19 Carson-Newman and No. 24 Florida Tech.
Tournament Style …
The Saint Leo Invitational will be a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 19 where the 78 golfers will play 36 holes. Tuesday's style will be determined based on where the teams place at 36 holes and the first set of individuals will tee off at 8:30 a.m. The golfers will split the course and tee off of the first hole and 10th hole for the final 18 holes of the Saint Leo Invitational.
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.