CHICAGO, Ill. –
After a rough start to the morning round, the FGCU men’s golf team showed its experience over two rounds (36 holes) on the opening day of the John Dallio Memorial Tournament hosted by DePaul University to lead the 13-team field heading into Sunday’s final round at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club.
With five upperclassmen in the starting lineup for the first tournament of the season, the Eagles played the opening nine holes of the first round at eight-over par, but rebounded by playing the final 27 holes of the afternoon at a solid three-over par. FGCU produced a team score of 297 in the morning session and then came on to shoot a 290 (+2) in the second round, the second-best round of the day.
Led by first-year head coach Brent Jensen, FGCU’s team score of 587 (297-290) over the opening two rounds is currently six strokes better than Detroit (593) and Loyola-Chicago (593), who are tied for second place. IUPUI (594) and Eastern Illinois (596) round out the top five from day one.
“We got off to a rough start, but I’m pleased that we hung tough,” said Jensen, who was making his head coaching debut in his hometown of Chicago. “We fought through the shaky start and some shaky weather for a great final 27 holes. It’s always important to improve in round two because it gives you good momentum going into the final day. We had some guys step up big with-even par rounds, while others finished real strong. It was a great team effort.”
All five members of the FGCU squad finished in the top 25 in the field of 73, led by senior Daniel Mazziotta (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake HS) who sits in a six-way tie for fifth place. Mazziotta had an up-and-down morning round that featured six birdies, six bogeys and a double-bogey that resulted in a two-over par 74. Mazziotta turned in an even-par 72 in round two, including a bogey-free, three-under par 33 on the back. For the day, Mazziotta’s 74-72/146 on the par 72, 6,898-yard course featured nine birdies, as he played the four par 5s at an impressive five-under par.
Junior and fellow Fort Myers product Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) and classmate Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) each turned in two-round 148s to make up half of a four-way tie for 12th position in the individual standings. Medinis produced a tournament-best 25 pars on the day, including 11 in his opening round even-par 72 that preceded a 76 in the afternoon. Medinis was one of 10 players to finish at even-par or better on the par 3s, while Pena was amongst the leaders in birdies (7) and par 4 scoring (+2). Pena played the course’s back nine at one-under for the day to finish with a 75-73/148.
Senior Gyles Robin (Jersey, England/De La Salle College) produced a counting score in each round with a 76-73/149 to sit in a tie for 16th position. Like Pena, Robin excelled on the back nine by playing the shorter portion of the course at two-over par over the two rounds. Robin’s one-over par 73 in the second round featured four birdies, as he played the par 5s at two-under for the day.
After playing the opening nine holes of the day at seven-over par, junior Jeremy Self (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) responded in a big way by playing the final 27 holes at even-par. Self salvaged an opening round 79 by playing the back nine at even-par and then carried the momentum over into the afternoon where he equaled the team’s best round of the day with an even-par 72. Self currently sits in a tie for 25th place at 79-72/151.
The 54-hole tournament will conclude on Sunday with FGCU going off from the first tee from 8:18 a.m.-8:54 a.m. The Eagles will be playing alongside Detroit for the second straight day and Loyola-Chicago.
Live in-progress scoring of the tournament can be found at www.GolfStat.com. A link to the live scoring can be found by going to the FGCU men’s golf schedule and clicking on the day’s event or by going to www.GolfStat.com and searching for the John Dallio Memorial Tournament on the front page. Twitter updates about the Eagles during this weekend’s tournament can be found at www.twitter.com/FGCUeagles or on the main page of www.FGCUAthletics.com.
T-5. Dan Mazziotta – 74-72(E)/146(+2)
T-12. Alex Medinis – 72(E)-76/148(+4)
T-12. Brandon Pena – 75-73/148(+4)
T-16. Gyles Robin – 76-73/149(+5)
T-25. Jeremy Self – 79-72(E)/151(+7)
1. FGCU – 297-290/587
2. Detroit – 292-301/593
2. Loyola (Chicago) – 300-293/593
4. IUPUI – 308-286/594
5. Eastern Illinois – 301-295/596
6. USF – 295-303/598
7. DePaul – 300-304/604
8. Oakland – 313-292/605
9. SIU-Edwardsville – 317-298/615
10. Western Illinois – 309-310/619
11. Northern Iowa – 314-308/622
12. Southern Illinois – 313-312/625
13. Bradley – 316-310/626