FGCU Finishes Up USF Invitational in 12th Place
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (pierson_sid)
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Pena's second straight under-par round helped him earn his 21st career top 20 finish.
Pena's second straight under-par round helped him earn his 21st career top 20 finish.

DADE, Fla. – The FGCU men’s golf team wrapped up play at the USF Invitational on Tuesday, finishing in sole possession of 12th place in the 17-team tournament being held at Lake Jovita Golf & Country Club. Senior Brandon Pena (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) was the Eagles’ top finisher, earning his 21st career top 20 finish.

On a day that saw all 17 teams shoot a higher score than Monday’s second round, FGCU carded a four-man score of 296 to move up one spot into 12th place. The Eagles (304-293-296/893) broke 300 in both the second and third round to finish just two strokes back of No. 20 Florida State.

No. 19 UCF led from starting to finish, taking home the team title with a three-day 10-under par 284(-4)-285(-3)-285(-3)/854(-10). The Knights’ three straight under-par rounds helped them finish six shots clear of No. 23 Georgia (291-284(-4)-285(-3)/860) and 14 ahead of Kentucky (295-284(-4)-289/868), who moved up one spot into third.

Pena pieced together his second straight under-par round to end the tournament with a one-under 71. One of just four players to card two straight under-par rounds to close out the Invitational, Pena’s 78-69(-3)-71(-1)/218 put him in a five-way tie for 19th place. Pena led FGCU with 16 birdies over the three days, playing the course’s par-5s at four-under.

Junior Kyle English (Bloomington, Ill./University HS) had the highlight of the tournament for the Eagles in Tuesday’s final round, recording a hole-in-one on the par 3, 193-yard, 4th hole en route to shooting an even-par 72. English, who finished in a tie for 39th in the 90-player field, also had an eagle in round two.

Redshirt junior Jeremy Self (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) provided his second counting score of the tournament on Tuesday with a three-over 75. Led by three birdies in each round, Self was FGCU’s third-best finisher in a tie for 45th with a 73-78-75/226. Sophomore Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) finished with a three-day scorecard of 77-75-78/230 for 62nd position, while senior Alex Medinis (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) tied for 68th (79-76-78/233).

FGCU will be back in action on Monday, March 19, when it opens play at the Rio Pinar Invitational hosted by No. 19 UCF. The tournament will begin with 36 holes at Rio Pinar Country Club in Orlando, Fla.

FGCU PARTICIPANTS
T-19. Brandon Pena – 78-69(-3)-71(-1)/218
T-33. Kyle English – 76-73-72(E)/221
T-45. Jeremy Self – 73-78-75/226
62. Matt Cote – 77-75-78/230
T-68. Alex Medinis – 79-76-78/233

USF INVITATIONAL RESULTS (Golf Week Ranking)
1. UCF (19) – 284(-4)-285(-3)-285(-3)/854(-10)
2. Georgia (23) – 291-284(-4)-285(-3)/860(-4)
3. Kentucky (99) – 295-284(-4)-289/868
4. USF (58) – 295-289-290/874
5. UNC (112) – 292-288(E)-296/876
6. Middle Tennessee State (38) – 289-287(-1)-302/878
7. Louisville (127) – 304-284(-4)-293/881
8. Eastern Michigan (102) – 296-293-299/888
9. Troy (158) – 296-296-297/889
T-10. Florida State (20) – 306-284(-4)-301/891
T-10. Villanova (148) – 299-294-298/891
12. FGCU (83) – 304-293-296/893
13. Arkansas State (156) – 304-287(-1)-304/895
14. DePaul (163) – 305-299-304/908
15. FAU (216) – 311-300-310/921
16. Marquette (218) – 315-302-320/937
17. Cincinnati (251) – 312-310-330/952