Strong Final Round Vaults FGCU Into Third Place at USF Invite
Sunday, March 06, 2011
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DADE CITY, Fla. – The FGCU men’s golf team saved its best round for last at the competitive USF Invitational, carding a four-under par 284 to move up four spots and finish in third place amongst the 21 teams at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.

The Eagles’ four-man score of 284 was the second-best on the day, as every player finished at one-over par or lower. FGCU’s under-par round was its fourth in the last two tournaments, finishing off a 285(-3)-295-284(-4)/864(E) weekend.

On the strength of a 14-under 274 in round one and an 11-under 277 on day two, No. 58 Middle Tennessee took home the team title by 19 strokes over No. 48 Florida State. The Seminoles five-under par 283 on Sunday was the lowest round of the day helping them finish seven strokes ahead of the Eagles. No. 26 North Texas (280-291-296/867) and Arkansas State (287-287-293/867) tied for fourth.

FGCU’s scorecards featured 20 birdies and two eagles, highlighted by a four-under par 68 from freshman Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS). Cote finished the day with six birdies and an eagle on the par-5 second hole. Senior Dan Mazziotta (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake) led the team with 15 birdies over the three days, as the Eagles combined for 51 as a team.

“I’m extremely proud of the way the team stepped up today after the way we played yesterday,” said head coach Brent Jensen, who led the Eagles past two of the field’s top 50 teams. “We didn’t tuck tail and run. We showed resolve and character. Everyone took yesterday’s round to heart and learned something from it. We made the necessary adjustments and showed a lot of maturity.”

Entering the day in second place after rounds of three-under par 69 and five-under par 67, Mazziotta birdied two of his last four holes to card a one-over par 73 on Sunday. Mazziotta’s three-day seven-under par 209 was a season-low and earned him a share of fourth place in the field of 105 participants. The top five finish is the fourth in nine tournaments this season for Mazziotta.

Junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Ontario/Crescent School) bounced back from a 76 on Saturday with an even-par 72 in the final round that featured five birdies on the front nine. Williams opened the tournament with a three-under par 69 and finished in a tie for 25th with a one-over 217 (69-76-72).

Junior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) followed Cote’s lead with an under-par round. Usually a par-making machine, Medinis’ scorecard featured just six pars, but was highlighted by five birdies and an eagle on the par 5 No. 11. Medinis’ 75-73-71(-1)/219 put him in a tie for 30th overall. Cote’s four-under 68 was a season-low for the rookie who has seven under-par rounds in his four career tournaments. Cote’s 68 helped him move up 31 places into a tie for 41st (72-81-68/221).

The most steady scorecard of the day for the Eagles came from junior Jeremy Self (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS), who was bogey-free over his first 13 holes of the afternoon. Self moved up 11 spots in the individual standings with his one-over par 73.

FGCU will be back in action when it heads north to Orlando to take part in the UCF Invitational. The tournament will commence on Monday, March 14 with 36 holes at Rinor Pinar Country Club. The two-day event will finish with 18 holes on Tuesday, March 15.

FGCU PARTICIPANTS
T-4. Dan Mazziotta – 69(-3)-67(-5)-73/209(-7)
T-25. Patrick Williams – 69(-3)-76-72(E)/217
T-30. Alex Medinis – 75-73-71(-1)/219
T-41. Matt Cote – 72(E)-81-68(-4)/221
T-76. Jeremy Self – 77-79-73/229

TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking)
1. Middle Tennessee State (58) – 274(-14)-277(-11)-287(-1)/838(-26)
2. FSU (48) – 296-278(-10)-283(-5)/857(-7)
3. FGCU (82) – 285(-3)-295-284(-4)/864(E)
T-4. North Texas (26) – 280(-8)-291-296/867
T-4. Arkansas State (140) – 287(-1)-287(-1)-293/867
6. UCF (32) – 293-286(-2)-290/869
7. Troy (190) – 287(-1)-294-290/871
8. Villanova (186) – 283(-5)-290-299/872
9. Missouri State (118) – 291-297-288(E)/876
10. Eastern Michigan (106) – 293-291-294/878
T-11. Jacksonville State (74) – 293-299-288(E)/880
T-11. USF (212) – 299-288(E)-293/880
13. Louisville (101) – 291-297-294/882
14. Florida Southern – 303-302-284(-4)/889
15. FAU (195) – 305-288(E)-299/892
16. DePaul (215) – 299-300-295/894
T-17. Cincinnati (173) – 300-301-298/899
T-17. Marquette (147) – 297-298-304/899
19. Toledo (125) – 303-296-303/902
20. Austin Peay (153) – 315-304-298/917
21. Rhode Island (189) – 321-307-306/934