After the win in the Men’s golf first game of the season, the 35th annual Matlock Collegiate Classic on Feb. 9, the Lions are ranked as the best team in the country in both Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll and the GolfStat ranking.
Not only did the Lions win as a team, but one of the players, Liam Ainsworth, brought back home the individual title.
The Lions successfully began their championship season by taking part in the tournament held by Florida Southern at the Lone Palm Golf Club in Lakeland Fla. For the fifth consecutive year as a Sunshine State Conference team, they won the game. Saint Leo Lions finished the game with a score of 869 (+5), and they defeated 14 other teams.
A senior Liam Ainsworth managed to complete the final round of the tournament with a score of 75 (+3) on the second day of the tournament, which allowed him to win the individual title. Ainsworth’s performance and the team’s victory had a significant impact on the team’s place in the national rankings.
Currently, Saint Leo Men’s golf is ranked as the best team the nation according to the Bushnell Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll. In the tournament, the Lions defeated 8 other teams that had been placed among top-25 in the same ranking.
Moreover, on Feb.19th the GolfStat also announced its ranking in which the Lions are placed first as well. Unlike the Coaches Poll, GolfStat ranking is based on the team’s performance only, and it compiles results from every tournament in which the team participated.
Both rankings provide the team with the nationwide recognition, and they indicate how talented the players are. Being ranked as the best team in the country based on coaches’ opinions, as well as the team’s results, is a prestigious award and it can be another motivation to perform well during the season.
The team has planned to participate in five other tournaments this spring. The games will allow the Lions to gain experience that they might need in the championship tournaments that will follow the regular season.
The first championship tournament in which the Lions will participate is the Sunshine State Conference Championship on April, 17 in Key Biscayne, Fla. The tournament will be followed by regional and national championships coming up in May.
The men’s golf team more recently came back to action at the South/Southeastern Regional Preview at the Mission Inn Resort and Club El Campeón course on March first. After the first two rounds the lions sat at fourth place but by the end of the final round they moved up to third place. Saint Leo finished nine strokes off of second place.
Saint Leo’s men’s golf will hit the course again for a three day tournament on March thirteenth in the Southeastern Intercollegiate which will take place at Valdosta State in Valdosta, GA.
The team has already made history many times by representing Saint Leo University on the highest level. Not only the Lions qualified for the national championships multiple times, but also they finished the tournaments as one of the best teams in the country.
Stay tuned to the Lions Pride Newspaper to learn more about the team’s progress and statistics during the season as the Lions continue their campaign in the new championship season.