GOODYEAR, Ariz. – Matt Vela and Sam Jernigan both tied for 27th individually, helping the St. Mary’s University men’s golf team to an eighth place finish at the Grand Canyon Invitational, held at the Golf Club of Estrella on Tuesday.

Vela (Jr., San Antonio) shot a three-round total of 224 (77-73-74), recovering from a slow start to finish in the top-30 of the field of 90. Jernigan (So., San Antonio) also fired a total of 224 (77-74-73) and also finished strong, posting his best round of the tournament on Tuesday with a 73. Taking medalist honors in the tournament was Julian Valenciana of Oklahoma City University, who shot a three-round total of 208 (67-72-69) to win by five strokes over Nick Varelia of Western Washington University.

Jeff Rein (Jr., San Antonio) placed 38th with a 226 (78-75-73), Tim Paiz (Fr., San Antonio) was 53rd with a 231 (77-78-76) and James Grant (Sr., San Antonio) finished 59th with a 234 (79-73-82).

In the team standings, Oklahoma City tied Western Washington for top honors with identical scores of 863. Chico State University was third with an 866, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs was fourth with an 878, while St. Mary’s tied for eighth with a 900.

St. Mary’s will wrap up the 2009 fall season when they compete in the Alamo City Golf Classic on Oct. 22-23.

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