DALLAS – Matt Vela fired a first round 69 and stands just three strokes out of first place after the first two rounds of the Heartland Conference Men’s Golf Tournament, played at the Golf Club of Dallas Monday afternoon. St. Mary’s is in fourth place as a team with a two-round total of 599.

Vela (Fr., San Antonio) fired the only sub-70 round of the day in the first round of the tournament, then followed that up with a two-over par 74 in the second round to finish with a 143. He is currently three strokes behind Matthew Hatcher of St. Edward’s University, who fired back-to-back rounds of 70. Also tied with Vela is Matt Smith of St. Edward’s.

Jimmy Willingham (Sr., San Antonio) is tied for 11th overall with a two-round total of 149 (75-74). Preston Akromis (Jr., San Antonio) is 18th with a 153 (79-74), James Grant (So., San Antonio) is tied for 20th with a 154 (77-77) and Jerry Holguin (Fr., San Antonio) is 28th with a 159 (82-77).

St. Edward’s has a commanding 17-stroke lead in the team standings over second place Dallas Baptist University. Lincoln University is third, 19 strokes back of the Hilltoppers and two strokes behind DBU, while St. Mary’s is fourth with a 599 (300-299), 21 strokes out of first, but just four strokes out of second place.

The Heartland Conference Men’s Golf Tournament will wrap up on Tuesday with the final round at the Golf Club of Dallas.

Heartland Conference Tournament
Rounds One and Two
The Golf Club of Dallas, Dallas Texas
Team Standings:
1. St. Edward’s 578 (287-291), 2. Dallas Baptist 595 (300-295), 3. Lincoln 597 (303-294), 4. St. Mary’s 599 (300-299), t5. Newman 601 (306-295), t5. Incarnate Word 601 (296-305), 7. Oklahoma Panhandle State 656 (330-326).
Individual Standings: 1. Matthew Hatcher (SEU) 140 (70-70), t2. Matt Smith (SEU) 143 (72-71), t2. Matthew Vela (STMU) 143 (69-74), t4. Jeff Howard (SEU) 144 (73-71), t4. Ed Herzog (NU) 144 (74-70).
Other St. Mary’s Individuals: t11. Jimmy Willingham 149 (75-74), t18. Preston Akromis 153 (79-74), t20. James Grant 154 (77-77), t28. Jerry Holguin 159 (82-77).

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