FORT MYERS, Fla. – Behind three players at even-par or lower in the afternoon, the FGCU men’s golf team capped the 36-hole first day of the John Dallio Memorial Tournament hosted by DePaul with the lowest round of the day in the 15-team field to move into second place on Saturday at Ruffled Feathers Golf Club.
The Eagles’ one-under 287 was the only under-par team score of the day and the Green and Blue’s second of the season. FGCU (585) sits four strokes back of No. 49 Missouri after coupling its 287 with a first round 298. The Tigers shot a 292-289/581.
Host DePaul (595) occupies the third position, 10 strokes behind the Eagles, while Northern Iowa (596) and Drake (606) round out the tournament’s top five.
“We were better in the second round, but overall it wasn’t our best day,” said second-year head coach Brent Jensen. “Matt stepped up and played well, but we’ll need more guys to do the same tomorrow. We’re only four strokes back so we’ve got to go into tomorrow with a positive attitude and play the way we know we can.”
Four different players ended day one in the top 20 for FGCU led by sophomore Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) who is tied for the overall lead in the 78-player field. Cote opened with a three-under 69 and closed with an even-par 72 to sit in a tie with Missouri’s Emilio Cuartero at three-under 141. Cote leads the field in par 4 scoring (-2), while ranking second in par 3 scoring (E) and third with nine birdies.
Playing in his home state of Illinois, junior Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS) moved from 31st place into a tie for eighth in the afternoon with a two-under 70. English’s 70 was the low second round for the Eagles, as he produced 14 pars, three birdies and just one bogey. For the day, English had six birdies and 21 pars.
Back-to-back two-over par 74s put freshman Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) into a tie for 11th place. Hernandez made up ground on the par 5s, playing the course’s four holes at three-under. The Fort Myers product has turned in a counting score in the first eight rounds of his collegiate career.
Coming off his first career individual win last weekend, senior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) rebounded from a rough start and first round to shoot one-under 71 in the afternoon. Pena climbed 26 spots on the leaderboard in the second round after opening with a 78. After going eight-under on the par 5s in his last tournament, Pena is second in this field at four-under in the same category and carded his fourth eagle of the season on the par 5, 13th hole in the second round. Senior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) leads the team with 25 pars after rounds of 78-76/154.
Coming off a team title just five days ago at the Cobra-PUMA Invitational hosted by Xavier University, FGCU will go for its second straight win when it takes the par-72, 6,898-yard course alongside Missouri and DePaul Sunday morning. The trio that occupies spots 1-3 in the standings will go off the first tee from 8:51-9:27 a.m.
Live in-progress scoring of Sunday’s final round 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 John Dallio Memorial on the front page. Twitter updates about the Eagles during this weekend’s tournament can be found at www.twitter.com/FGCUeagles or on the main page of www.FGCUAthletics.com.
T-1. Matt Cote – 69(-3)-72(E)/141(-3)
T-8. Kyle English – 77-70(-2)/147
T-11. Jack Hernandez – 74-74/148
T-14. Brandon Pena – 78-71(-1)/149
T-38. Alex Medinis – 78-76/154
TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking as of Oct. 2)
1. Missouri (49) – 292-289/581
2. FGCU (158) – 298-287(-1)/585
3. DePaul (124) – 301-294/595
4. Northern Iowa (173) – 293-303/596
5. Drake (188) – 307-299/606
T-6. IUPUI (91) – 311-299/610
T-6. Bradley (227) – 306-304/610
T-8. Western Illinois (176) – 299-312/611
T-8. Loyola-Chicago (212) – 307-304/611
T-10. Eastern Illinois (201) – 306-306/612
T-10. Detroit (171) – 314-298/612
12. Wisconsin-Green Bay (258) – 305-313/618
13. Marquette (202) – 310-311/621
14. SIU Edwardsville (232) – 326-299/625
15. Chicago State (272) – 337-335/672