HOWIE-in-the-HILLS, Fla. – A pair of under-par rounds from seniors Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) and Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) helped the FGCU men’s golf team post a three-under 285 in the final round of the Mission Inn Fall Classic hosted by St. John’s to come away with its third consecutive first place finish.
Pena fired a three-under 69 while Medinis carded a two-under 70 to lead the Eagles to the tournament’s low round and only under-par score over the three days. FGCU entered the final round one stroke back of Loyola-Maryland and defeated the Greyhounds by nine strokes with a 307-300-285(-3)/892.
FGCU entered the tournament following wins at the Cobra-PUMA Invitational hosted by Xavier and the John Dallio Memorial hosted by DePaul. The win is the fifth under second-year head coach Brent Jensen, as the team capped the 54-hole event with its third-under par round of the year. The Green and Blue are a combined two-under in the final round during its three wins.
“I’m proud of the guys for grinding out a solid round today after struggling in the first two rounds,” said Jensen. “We know how it feels to win from behind and with the lead, and how it feels to lose in those same situations. Now we know how it feels to find a way to win when we are not playing our best. This is something we can build on and grow from.”
Pena and Medinis placed second and third, respectively, in the 50-player field. The runner up finish is the second of Pena’s career and adds to his terrific start to this season that already includes an individual title at the Cobra-PUMA Invite. Pena finished with a three-round 75-74-69(-3)/218 and now has seven under-par rounds out of a possible 12 this season.
Medinis’ third place showing is his second top 10 of the season and the 11th of his career. After back-to-back 75s to open the tournament, Medinis equaled his season-low with his third two-under 70 of the year.
Freshman Jack Hernandez’s (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) even-par 72 on Sunday helped the Fort Myers product move up five spots on the final day into a tie for sixth overall, making the Eagles the only team with three players in the top 10. Hernandez improved each day, shooting a 79-73-72(E)/224, while increasing his counting scores streak to a perfect 12-for-12 to begin his career.
After a few weeks off, FGCU will conclude the season at the Stetson Invitation, which it has won each of the last two years. The tournament begins with 36 holes on Monday, Nov. 7.
2. Brandon Pena – 75-74-69(-3)/218
3. Alex Medinis – 75-75-70(-2)/220
T-6. Jack Hernandez – 79-73-72(E)/224
T-21. Kyle English – 78-78-77/233
T-28. Matt Cote – 82-79-74/235
TOURNAMENT STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking as of Oct. 19)
1. FGCU (82) – 307-300-285(-3)/892
2. Loyola-Maryland (135) – 305-301-295/901
3. St. John’s (125) – 312-301-291/904
4. Northwood-FL – 308-309-293/910
5. Johnson & Whales – 299-310-302/911
6. Bethune-Cookman (208) – 304-304-310/918
7. Stetson (268) – 326-293-304/923
8. Embry Riddle – 317-310-305/932
9. Florida A&M – 324-316-311/951
10. Savannah State (270) – 336-320-303/959