TAMPA, Fla. – The FGCU men’s golf team opened the 21-team USF Invitational at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club on Friday with a four-man score of three-under par 285 to sit in sole possession of fourth place in the standings.
Playing alongside No. 26 North Texas and No. 32 UCF, the Eagles under-par score is their third in the last four rounds dating, back to their second place finish at the Rice Intercollegiate.
One of six teams in the field that rank in the top 100 of the current Golf Week rankings, No. 58 Middle Tennessee State shot a blistering 14-under par 274 to take a six-stroke lead after the first round. The Blue Raiders were led by a five-under par 67 from both Brad Simons and Hunter Green, who are in a four-way tie for the top spot in the individual standings.
“We played fairly well today and overall I’m happy with our opening round performance,” said head coach Brent Jensen. “We definitely left some scores out there, but I know we’ll have guys step up tomorrow.”
North Texas sits six strokes back of Middle Tennessee State after an eight-under par 280. Villanova (283) sits two strokes ahead of FGCU in the third, while Arkansas State (287) and Tory (287) are tied for fifth.
Senior Dan Mazziotta (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake HS) and junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Ontario/Crescent School) led the way for the Blue and Green with three-under par 69s. Mazziotta’s round was highlighted by a three-under par 33 on the back nine and a team-high six birdies. After bogeying his first hole, Williams went bogey-free the rest of the round, carding four birdies along the way for his 69 that also featured a 33 on the back.
Making his second straight start, freshman Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) continued his strong play with an even-par 72. Cote’s seventh even-par round or better out of 11 rounds played this season featured a two-under 34 on the front. Junior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) fought off three bogeys over the first five holes to finish with a three-over par 75 on the strength of 13 straight pars. Junior Jeremy Self’s (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) 78 didn’t count towards the four-man score.
FGCU will take the course on Saturday at 9:55 a.m. for the second round of the 54-hole tournament. The Eagles will play alongside Arkansas State and Troy, teeing off from 9:55-10:35 a.m.
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 USF Invitational on the front page.
T-8. Dan Mazziotta – 69(-3)
T-8. Patrick Williams – 69(-3)
T-21. Matt Cote – 72(E)
T-47. Alex Medinis – 75
T-74. Jeremy Self – 77
TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking)
1. Middle Tennessee State (58) – 274(-14)
2. North Texas (26) – 280(-8)
3. Villanova (186) – 283(-5)
4. FGCU (82) – 285(-3)
T-5. Arkansas State (140) – 287(-1)
T-5. Troy (190) – 287(-1)
T-7. Missouri State (118) – 291(+3)
T-7. Louisville (101) – 291
T-9. Eastern Michigan (106) – 293
T-9. UCF (32) – 293
T-9. Jacksonville State (74) – 293
12. FSU (48) – 296
13. Marquette (147) – 297
T-14. USF (212) – 299
T-14. DePaul (215) – 299
16. Cincinnati (173) – 300
T-17. Toledo (125) – 303
T-17. Florida Southern – 303
19. FAU (195) – 305
20. Austin Peay (153) – 315
21. Rhode Island (189) – 321