LAKELAND, Fla. – It was an impressive start to the season and another banner day for the Saint Leo men’s golf team as they finished in sixth place at the 2009 Matlock Collegiate Classic hosted by Florida Southern and played at the Lone Palm Golf Club on Monday and Tuesday.

The Lions, who finished 16 strokes behind the tournament’s champion Clayton State, finished with a three-round total 874 (294-287-293) and found themselves tied with Sunshine State Conference rival Nova Southeastern.  Every other school in the SSC was looking up at the Lions as perennial contenders such as Lynn, Florida Southern, Rollins and Barry all finished behind Saint Leo.

On the individual side, Mark McGuire improved his finishing spot with a third-round 73 to put him in a tie for 17th-place, the best finish of all the Lions.  Cole Cisbani, who slipped in the third round, still finished tied for 23rd with a third-round 78 and Tom Lynn’s third-round 75 put him in the 28th finishing spot.

The final two Lions still managed a finish no lower than 39th, with Matt Cornuet’s 73 putting him in a tie for 33rd, and JP Albuquerque’s third-round 72 that put him in the 39th finishing spot.

Saint Leo posted the highest combined team finish once all five competitors’ cards were counted.   The second highest team total belonged to champions Clayton State, with their fifth golfer finishing in 46th place.

The Lions will now put this feather in their cap and head to Valdotsa, Ga. next Monday and Tuesday to play in the Thomas University Winter Invitational.  The Lions will practice on Sunday before taking to the Kinderlou Forest Golf Club on Monday morning.