Eagles Turn in Solid Round but Slip to 13th at USF Invite
Monday, March 05, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (pierson_sid)
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Self shot a one-over 73 in the first round. (Photo by Jim Dostie)
Self shot a one-over 73 in the first round. (Photo by Jim Dostie)

DADE, Fla. – Despite a three-under par 69 from senior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) and an 11-stroke improvement from Sunday’s opening round, the FGCU men’s golf team slipped three places into 13th after the second day of the highly-competitive USF Invitational being held at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club.

In a field that features seven top 100 teams in Golf Week’s most recent ranking, including four in the top 50, No. 83 FGCU entered the day in 10th place among the 17 teams, but slipped to 13th despite shooting a solid 293. The Eagles have a two round score of 304-293/597.

The highest ranked team in the tournament, No. 19 UCF (284(-4)-285(-3)/569) has pieced together a pair of under-par rounds to hold a six-stroke lead over No. 23 Georgia (291-284(-4)/575). No. 38 Middle Tennessee State sits in third, while Kentucky (579) and North Carolina (580) round out the top five.

After an uncharacteristic 78 in the first round, Pena moved up 26 spots on the individual leaderboard with his three-under 69 – his ninth under-par round of the year. The Clewiston, Fla. product is in a tie for 30th after a two-day 78-69(-3)/147. Pena opened Monday with back-to-back bogeys, but played the final 16 holes five-under thanks to six birdies.

Coming off a top 20 finish at the Rice Intercollegiate, junior Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS) produced a one-over 73 in today’s second round after a 76 on Sunday. English is second among the Eagles and tied for 39th overall with a score of 149. Though he didn’t turn in a counting score in the second round, redshirt junior Jeremy Self (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) is third on the team thanks to an opening round team-low 73. Self is in tie for 49th overall.

Seeing his first action of the spring, sophomore Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) has contributed a counting score in each round. Cote opened with a 77 in the first round and improved by two strokes with a 75 on Monday. Senior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) turned a counting score of 76 in Tuesday’s second round.

FGCU will be back on the course starting at 8:50 a.m. going off the 10th tee. The Eagles will play alongside Arkansas State and FAU with live stats available on www.GOLFSTAT.com or www.FGCUATHLETICS.com.

FGCU PARTICIPANTS
T-30. Brandon Pena – 78-69(-3)/147
T-39. Kyle English – 76-73/149
T-49. Jeremy Self – 73-78/151
T-57. Matt Cote – 77-75/152
T-68. Alex Medinis – 79-76/155

USF INVITATIONAL STANDINGS (Golf Week Ranking)
1. UCF (19) – 284(-4)-285(-3)/569(-7)
2. Georgia (23) – 291-284(-4)/575(-1)
3. Middle Tennessee State (38) – 289-287(-1)/576(E)
4. Kentucky (99) – 295-284(-4)/579
5. UNC (112) – 292-288(E)/580
6. USF (58) – 295-289/584
7. Louisville (127) – 304-284(-4)/588
8. Eastern Michigan (102) – 296-293/589
9. Florida State (20) – 306-284(-4)/590
10. Arkansas State (156) – 304-287(-1)/591
11. Troy (158) – 296-296/592
12. Villanova (148) – 299-294/593
13. FGCU (83) – 304-293/597
14. DePaul (163) – 305-299/604
15. FAU (216) – 311-300/611
16. Marquette (218) – 315-302/617
17. Cincinnati (251) – 312-310/622