DeLAND, Fla. – Supplying the lowest team score in all three rounds, the FGCU men’s golf team closed out its third straight Stetson/CFSC Invitational title and won its fourth consecutive tournament of the fall season by 23 strokes over the rest of the eight-team field at Victoria Hills Golf Club.
FGCU (294-283(-5)-293/870) opened up a 14-stroke lead after day one thanks to a five-under 283 in the afternoon round. The Eagles’ carded a four-man score of 293 in Tuesday’s final round to separate themselves by nine more strokes from second place High Point (893).
Entering the tournament at No. 87 in the most recent (Nov. 7) Golf Week rankings, FGCU has won the Cobra-PUMA Invitational (Xavier), John Dallio Memorial (DePaul), Mission Inn Collegiate Classic (St. John’s) and now the Stetson/CFSC Invitational since the start of October.
“It was a very successful fall season for our program and I’m proud of the team for battling today and staying tough mentally,” said second-year head coach Brent Jensen, who has led the Eagles to six team titles over his two fall seasons. “We know what we have to work on this offseason to have a competitive spring season leading up to our Conference Tournament.”
The Eagles ranked first or second in nearly every statistical category; par 3 scoring (+12/1st), par 4 scoring (+18/1st), par 5 scoring (-9/2nd), birdies (42/2nd) and pars (171/1st). All five Eagles finished in the top 20, while they also occupied four of the top six in the individual standings.
Senior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) completed his second under-par 54-hole tournament of the season with a 71(-1)-72(E)-72(E)/215(-1) to finish in sole possession of third place. Medinis’ second straight top five finish featured a team-high 10 birdies, while leading the entire 44-player field in par 4 scoring (-4). He will enter the spring with four straight even-par or lower rounds and finish the fall by accomplishing the feat in eight of 15 rounds.
Thanks to playing the tournament’s final 36 holes two-under par, junior Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS) moved up to fourth place for his second top five of the fall. English started to climb the leaderboard in Monday’s afternoon round with a two-under 70 and closed Tuesday with an even-par 72. His three-round 217 is his third tournament with a 54-hole score under 220, as he was among the field’s leaders in par 3 scoring (E), par 4 scoring (+1) and birdies (9).
Senior Brandon Pena’s (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) counting score streak reached 42 on Tuesday with the squad’s third even-par 72 of the day. Pena’s 72 moved him up one spot into fifth place for his third top five of the fall and seventh of his career. Like Medinis, his even-par 72 was his eighth round of the fall at even-par or lower. Pena finished as the tournament leader with 37 pars and played the par 5s at three-under.
Freshman Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and sophomore Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) each carded final round 77s to chip in the last counting score. Hernandez’s four-under 68 in round two tied for the low round of the tournament and helped him maintain his third top 10 of the fall with a sixth place finish. Cote produced a 76-78-77/231 to sit in a four-way tie for 20th.
FGCU concludes the fall with four tournament titles and a team stroke average of 293.5.
3. Alex Medinis – 71(-1)-72(E)-72(E)/215(-1)
4. Kyle English – 75-70(-2)-72(E)/217
5. Brandon Pena – 73-73-72(E)/218
6. Jack Hernandez – 75-68(-4)-77/220
T-20. Matt Cote – 76-78-77/231
1. FGCU – 294-283(-5)-293/870
2. High Point – 299-292-302/893
T-3. Stetson – 299-299-301/899
T-3. Bethune-Cookman – 302-299-298/899
5. Appalachian State – 301-300-302/903
6. Lipscomb – 306-307-298/911
7. FAU – 314-302-311/927
8. Florida A&M – 316-316-315/947