FORT MYERS, Fla. – Led by the guidance of second-year head coach Brent Jensen, the FGCU men’s golf team will open its 2011 Fall campaign out West when it takes part in the St. Mary’s Invitational at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Courses in Seaside, Calif.
FGCU is coming off a 2010-11 campaign that featured pair a of team wins at the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate and Stetson Invitational in the fall, and eight top 5s out of 11 tournaments. The Eagles finished with a team single-season record 14 under-par rounds and set the single-season scoring average (290.8) record.
The west coast trip to the St. Mary’s Invite is the second for the Eagles under Jensen, who played his college golf at St. Mary’s. Last year, the Green and Blue finished 11th in the 15-team field that included five of Golf Week’s top 100 teams at the time.
This year’s 15-team tournament includes seven of Golf Week’s top 100 teams from the final Spring of 2011 rankings.
The tournament begins at 11 a.m. ET with a shotgun start on Monday. The first 18 holes on Monday will be played at the Bayonet Course while the second round of the opening day will go off on the Black Horse Course. Tuesday’s final 18 holes will also begin at 11 a.m. and be played on the Bayonet Course.
The Eagles will play the pair of par-72 courses that measure over 7,000 yards each alongside San Francisco (No. 84) and Gonzaga on the first day. The Eagles were also paired with San Francisco last year. Playing partners for Tuesday will be determined by Monday’s results.
Earning the starting-five nod for the season’s first tournament are seniors Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) and Fort Myers product Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS), juniors Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School) and Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS), and another Fort Myers native freshman Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS).
Pena and Medinis will be looked upon for leadership in their final seasons, combining for 129 rounds played over their first three years. Pena was named to the Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team in 2011 after all 27 of his rounds throughout the year counted towards the team score en route to a 72.6 stroke average. Medinis was the team’s best finisher at the A-Sun Championship, tying for sixth overall thanks to opening with back-to-back under-par rounds. Medinis closed his junior season strong with a 72.7 stroke average over five spring tournaments.
Williams is no stranger to the starting lineup, earning 15 starts over his first two years. The Toronto product has a 73.9 career stroke average and has 10 top 20s to his credit, including an individual title at the Stetson Invitational as a freshman. English is building off a strong summer in which he won the prestigious 92nd Chicago District Golf Association (CDGA) Amateur Championships held at Medinah Country Club as the No. 14 seed.
The 2010 Fort Myers News-Press Player of the Year, Hernandez will participate in his first-ever collegiate tournament. Hernandez successfully defended his title at the Nolan Henke-Patty Berg Junior Masters in July, shooting a three-round course record of seven-under 209 (66-74-69) at Cypress Lake Country Club in Fort Myers.
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 St. Mary’s Invitational on the front page.
Brandon Pena (Sr.)
Alex Medinis (Sr.)
Patrick Williams (RS-Jr.)
Kyle English (Jr.)
Jack Hernandez (Fr.)
TOURNAMENT FIELD (Spring 2011 Final Golf Week Ranking)
Cal State Northridge (110)
Loyola Marymount (139)
Northern Illinois (156)
San Francisco (84)
St. Mary’s-CA (94)
UC Irvine (80)
UC Riverside (213)