EDMOND, Okla. – Matt Vela fired back-to-back sub-par rounds to tie for first place individually, helping St. Mary’s University to a second place standing as a team after the first two rounds of the 2010 Heartland Conference Men’s Golf Tournament, played Monday at the Rose Creek Golf Course.

Vela (Jr., San Antonio) shot an opening round 68, and then topped that by firing a second round 67. At 135, nine-under par, he is tied with Matthew Hatcher of St. Edward’s University for the individual lead after the first day. Collin Mayer of St. Edward’s is two strokes back of the leaders with a 137 (70-67), while Jeff Rein (Jr., San Antonio) is fourth with a 138 (69-69). Vela has finished second overall at the last two Heartland Conference Tournaments, while Rein was the 2009 individual medalist.

Tim Paiz (Fr., San Antonio) was impressive in his first Heartland Conference, placing 10th overall, thanks to a second round 70. He is one-under par for the tournament with a 143 (73-70) after two rounds. Sam Jernigan (So., San Antonio) is 21st with a 151 (79-72), while Guy Goodspeed (So., Del Rio, Texas) is 29th with a 157 (75-82).

In the team standings, St. Edward’s has a four-stroke lead over St. Mary’s, 559 to 563. Dallas Baptist University is third, 10 strokes back at 569. Newman University is fourth at 588, the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith is fifth with a 596, Lincoln University is sixth with a 610, the University of the Incarnate Word is seventh with a 624, Oklahoma Panhandle State University is eighth with a 656 and Texas A&M International University is ninth with a 686.

The 2010 Heartland Conference Golf Tournament will wrap up with the third and final round Tuesday at the Rose Creek Golf Course.

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