Eagles equal single-round record with 13-under par 275
FORT MYERS, Fla. – For the third straight tournament to open the season, the FGCU men’s golf team will enter the final round with the lead. This time, though, the Eagles own a healthy 15-stroke advantage heading into Tuesday’s homestretch of the 54-hole Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate after carding a record-tying 13-under par 275 to close out the two-round first day at Savannah Quarters Country Club.
FGCU’s team score of 275 is the third-lowest round in team history in terms of strokes, but equals the best round in program history against par at 13-under. The Blue and Green’s big round came on the heels of a morning round that saw the Eagles’ produce a then-season low seven-under 281.
With the back-to-back under-par rounds, FGCU sits at an astonishing 20-under 556, 15 strokes ahead of Wofford in second place. Troy (573) sits 17 strokes back in third place, while Atlantic Sun foe Jacksonville (575) and Winthrop (577) round out the top five on the first day. The Eagles have now produced five consecutive under-par rounds as a team.
“This is the type of day that I’ve been waiting for because I know what the guys are capable of,” said first-year head coach Brent Jensen. “I’m proud of the way the guys came out and shot a low first round number and even more excited about our ability to improve in the second round. We did a great job of staying focused the entire day.”
FGCU’s seven-under par 281 in the first round seemed tough to beat until each member of the five-man squad produced under-par rounds over the final 18 holes. Senior Dan Mazziotta’s (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake HS) five-under par 67 ranks in a tie for ninth in program single-round history, while classmate Gyles Robin’s (Jersey, England/De La Salle College) one-under par 71 didn’t even count towards the team’s 275. The Eagles’ were so sharp that Robin’s 71 would have been at least the second-best score for half of the teams in the tournament.
After an opening round two-under par 70 on the 7,016-yard course designed by Greg Norman, Mazziotta finished one stroke off his career-best with a bogey-free, five-under par 67 (34-33) in the afternoon. The two-round 137 (-7) puts Mazziotta in a tie for second place in the field of 81 heading into Tuesday. Mazziotta finished the day with 10 birdies and led the field in par 5 scoring at five-under par as he seeks his second career individual title.
Junior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) sits in a tie for seventh place with freshman Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor HS) after the duo each produced a pair of under-par rounds. Pena’s day began with a two-under par 70 and concluded with his second three-under par 69 in as many tournaments for a 139 (-5). Cote, on the other hand, led the way in round one with a three-under par 69 and followed with a two-under par 70 for his 139 (-5). Making his first career start, Cote has produced four straight under-par rounds, while Pena is tied for the tournament lead with 11 birdies. Both played the par 5s at four-under for the day.
Junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School), who also made his first start of the season, sits in a tie for 10th place with a 72(E)-69(-3)/141(-3). Williams’ three-under par 69 is the second-best round of his career, as the Toronto native had nine birdies and was the team leader on the par 4s at an impressive four-under. Robin bounced back from an 80 in the first round to improve by nine strokes in the afternoon with a season-low 71 to sit in a tie for 55th overall.
Each member of FGCU’s starting five produced at least one under-par round on the day, while nine of the 10 rounds were at even-par or better. Four Eagles sit in the top-10, while Troy is the only other team with multiple-players in the top 10 with two.
“Tomorrow is a big day because we’ve held a lead after two rounds twice this season and I believe we’ve learned from our experiences, but now we have to prove it.” Jensen said.
With two second place finishes already in hand this season, FGCU will look to close out its first tournament title on Tuesday when it tees off from 9:30 a.m. – 10:06 a.m. The Eagles will play alongside Wofford and Troy in the final round.
T-2. Dan Mazziotta – 70(-2)-67(-5)/137(-7)
T-7. Brandon Pena – 70(-2)-69(-3)/139(-5)
T-7. Matt Cote – 69(-3)-70(-2)/139(-5)
T-10. Patrick Williams – 72(E)-69(-3)/141(-3)
T-55. Gyles Robin – 80-71(-1)/151
TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (14 Teams)
1. FGCU – 281(-7)-275(-13)/556(-20)
2. Wofford – 287(-1)-284(-4)/571(-5)
3. Troy – 283(-5)-290/573(-3)
4. Jacksonville – 285(-3)-290/575
5. Winthrop – 291-286/577
6. Arkansas State – 295-284(-4)/579
7. Davidson – 292-290/582
8. Elon – 295-289/584
9. Georgia College – 302-283(-5)/585
10. USC Upstate – 298-288(E)/586
11. Charleston Southern – 300-288(E)/588
12. Armstrong Atlantic – 300-289/589
13. Georgia Southern – 297-294/591
14. Gardner-Webb – 302-304/606