LAKELAND, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s golf team improved four spots over the final two rounds of play to conclude the Matlock Invitational in 7th-place with a 28-over-par 892 (301-291-300=892). The Lions continued suspended second round action this morning before completing final round play in the afternoon. SLU posted the third-best score in the second round with a 291 before slipping nine shots in the last round to finish with a 300, Tuesday afternoon from the par-72, 7,065 Yard Lone Palm Golf Club.
In the 15-team field, five of the top seven schools were from the Sunshine State Conference.
The Lions, who entered the final day in 11th, turned it on in the second round. Mark McGuire carded a Lions’ tournament best, 70 and JP Albuquerque posted a 73 as they closed the morning session 10 strokes better than the first round.
Unfortunately, the Lions could not carry the momentum into the third round of play. The Green & Gold gave back nine of those 10 shots over the final 18-holes, closing round competition with a 300.
Individually, Nick Brothers played the most consistent golf of the week, as the freshman finished with a seven-over-par 223 (75-74-74=223) and in a tie for 21st place. Brothers converted one eagle and saved the most pars, 41, at the Invite. Albuquerque shook off a rocky first round 77 to end the tournament with a nine-over-par 225 (77-73-75=225).
Despite a superb second round, McGuire’s 77 in the final frame left him in a tie for 36th place with a 10-over-par 226 (79-70-77=226). The Lions’ first round leader, Tom Lynn, fell victim to the breezy conditions on the course as he closed the day with an 80. Overall, the Lemont, Ill. native posted an 11-over-par 227 (73-74-80=227).
Cole Cisbani rallied from his second round 80 to tie Brothers for the best third round score of any Lion. The 74 pushed Cisbani to post a 13-over-par 230 (76-80-74=230) over the two days.
In total, the Lions scored all but two rounds in the 70’s, while connecting on one eagle and 28 birdies.
Overall, Georgia College overcome a 12-stroke deficit after the first round, and an 8-stroke deficit after the second to claim the team win with a one-under-par 863 (291-288-284=863). It was the largest deficit overcame since 1998. It's also the second largest comeback in the tournament's 29-year history.
First day leader, Barry University, finished third and Florida Southern leap fogged one spot to finish second. Sunshine State Conference opponents Florida Tech and Nova Southeastern also finished just ahead of Saint Leo.
Georgia College’s Joe Young was the individual medalist, shooting a six-under-par 210 (71-67-72=210).
The Lions will take a couple weeks to prepare for the Treasure Coast Classic hosted by St. Johns University at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey in the Hills, Fla.