Mazziotta, Eagles Turn In Strong Opening Day at UCF Invite
Monday, March 14, 2011
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Senior tops individual standings after pair of under-par rounds

ORLANDO, Fla. – Led by a pair of under-par rounds from senior Dan Mazziotta (Fort Myers, Fla./Cypress Lake HS) that included a seven-under par 65 in the morning, the FGCU men’s golf team got off to a solid start through Monday’s opening 36 holes of the UFC Invitational by placing fourth out of the competitive 18-team field at Rio Pinar Country Club.

Mazziotta followed his sparkling 65 in the morning round with a three-under 69 in the afternoon to finish the day with a one-stroke lead in the individual standings. The two-round 10-under par 134 is just two strokes under-par away from equaling the program record for 54 holes.

In a field that features six teams in Golf Week’s current top 100, including three in the top 50, FGCU’s rounds of one-under par 287 and 290 put it in sole possession of fourth place (577). As a team, the Blue and Green have posted at least one under-par round in five of nine tournaments this season, including three straight.

No. 36 and tournament host UCF jumped out to a big lead with a 13-under par 275 over the opening 18 holes and concluded the day with a 13-stroke lead (275(-13)-282(-6)/557) over No. 39 Liberty (283(-5)-287(-1)/570(-6). No. 19 N.C. State is just two strokes ahead of the Eagles in third (291-284(-4)/575).

Mazziotta’s round of 65 is tied for the second-best score in program history, equaling four other rounds in the record books. Relative to par, Mazziotta’s seven-under is also tied for second-best. The Fort Myers, Fla. product sits just one stroke ahead of UCF’s Greg Eason (67-68/135). As significant as Mazziotta’s first round was, his three-under par 69 in round two also put him atop the FGCU record books for career rounds at par or lower. The 69 was Mazziotta’s 39th career round at even-par or lower, surpassing Joseph Lamielle’s record of 38 set from 2002-05.

FGCU’s first round 287 came on Mazziotta’s 65 and two-over par 74s from each of its other four players. Freshman Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) separated himself from the other Eagles with an even-par 72 in round two to sit in a tie for 26th overall (74-72/146). Junior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) followed his 74 in the morning with another in the afternoon to finish the opening day in a tie for 38th position.

Making his first start since the fall, junior Gyles Robin (Jersey, England/De LaSalle College) turned in a 74-75/149 to place in a tie for 43rd. Junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School), one of two players to participate in all four spring tournaments, produced a 74-79/153.

The third and final round will commence with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. The Eagles missed playing with the lead group by two strokes and will play alongside Wichita State and Winthrop, who are tied for fifth place. The three teams will begin on holes 4-6.

FGCU PARTICIPANTS
1. Dan Mazziotta – 65(-7)-69(-3)/134(-10)
T-26. Matt Cote – 74-72(E)/146
T-38. Brandon Pena – 74-74/148
T-43. Gyles Robin – 74-75/149
T-67. Patrick Williams – 74-79/153

TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking)
1. UCF (36) – 275(-13)-282(-6)/557(-19)
2. Liberty (39) – 283(-5)-287(-1)/570(-6)
3. NC State (19) – 291-284(-4)/575(-1)
4. FGCU (77) – 287(-1)-290/577
T-5. Wichita State (139) – 292-289/581
T-5. Winthrop (195) – 292-289/581
7. Campbell (92) – 302-282(-6)/584
8. Toledo (140) – 302-288(E)/590
T-9. FAU (187) – 298-294/592
T-9. Akron (102) – 301-291/592
T-9. Miami-Ohio – 297-295/592
12. Ball State (86) – 292-301/593
13. Marquette (150) – 300-294/594
14. Seton Hall (202) – 301-296/597
15. Rhode Island (216) – 303-303/606
16. Houston Baptist (253) – 307-300/607
17. George Mason (196) – 310-301/611
18. Northern Illinois (148) – 311-304/615