Eagles Finish Rice Intercollegiate in Sole Possession of Third Place
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@pierson_sid)
Hernandez was one of three players to finish at even-par or lower all three rounds. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)
Hernandez was one of three players to finish at even-par or lower all three rounds. (Photo by Dennis Snyder)

HOUSTON, Texas – Freshman Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) capped a strong showing at the Rice Intercollegiate with a two-under par 70 to lead the FGCU men’s golf team to a third place finish in the 15-team field at Westwood Golf Club.

The Eagles entered the final round in second place, but couldn’t keep pace with the under-par team scores turned in by tournament champ No. 73 Northwestern (289-287(-1)-286(-2)/862) and No. 71 Houston (291-291-284(-4)/866). Four of the five FGCU participants had a round of even-par or lower over the three rounds, as the Green and Blue’s 293 on Tuesday put it 10 strokes back of Northwestern and six behind Houston.

Counting fall tournaments, FGCU has placed in the top 3 of five of seven events this year and has an average team score of 293.5 over its last six tournaments.

Hernandez was one of three golfers in the 81-player field to produce three rounds of even-par or lower, carding a 72(E)-72(E)-70(-2)/214(-2) to finish in a tie for seventh place overall. The Fort Myers product tied for second in the field with a team-best 12 birdies and played the par 5s at six-under. Hernandez’s fifth under-par round of his young career on Tuesday featured 12 pars, four birdies and two bogeys while playing in the lead group.

Junior Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS) entered the day in a tie with Hernandez for seventh place, but despite shooting a solid two-over par 74 in the final round slipped into a tie for 16th. English got the Eagles going on Monday with an opening round one-under 71 that was coupled with a one-over 73 in the afternoon. English was just behind Hernandez with 11 birdies and a par 5 score of four-under.

Coming into the tournament with a consecutive counting score streak of 47, senior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) finished one shy of 50 straight with a five-over 77 in the final round. Pena (72(E)-74-77/223) joined classmate Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) and redshirt junior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Ontario/Crescent HS) in a tie for 38th place in the individual standings. As usual, Medinis finished with a team-high in pars with 40, carding a 74-74-75/223 during his stay in Houston. Returning to the lineup for the first time this spring, Williams bounced back from a 78 in the opening round with a one-under 71 in the afternoon on Monday and contributed a two-over 74 on Tuesday.

FGCU will take a weekend off from tournament play before it returns to action at the USF Invitational on Mar. 4-6. The three-day, 54-hole tournament will be held at Lake Jovita Country Club in Tampa, Fla.

T-7. Jack Hernandez – 72(E)-72(E)-70(-2)/214(-2)
T-16. Kyle English – 71(-1)-73-74/218
T-38. Brandon Pena – 72(E)-74-77/223
T-38. Alex Medinis – 74-74—75/223
T-38. Patrick Williams – 78-71(-1)-74/223

1. Northwestern (73) – 289-287(-1)-286(-2)/862(E)
2. Houston (71) – 291-291-284(-4)/866
3. FGCU (86) – 289-290-293/872
4. Wichita State (22) – 299-284(-4)-291/874
5. UTSA (137) – 294-291-290/875
6. Louisiana Tech (79) – 291-292-293/876
7. Louisiana-Monroe (198) – 299-286(-2)-294/879
8. Texas State (105) – 293-299-292/884
9. Kansas State (108) – 301-291-293/886
10. New Mexico State (67) – 293-304-290/887
T-11. Winthrop (133) – 300-291-300/891
T-11. Missouri State (134) – 294-304-293/891
13. Houston Baptist (191) 0 296-305-296/897
14. Air Force (152) – 301-295-304/900
15. Rice (218) – 305-294-308/907