FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU senior Brandon Pena’s (Clewiston, Fla./Clewiston HS) illustrious four-year career was extended on Monday night when the Clewiston, Fla. product heard his named called during the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Selection Show on NCAA.com. Pena earned the No. 6 individual seed in the Athens, Ga. Region that will be played at The University of Georgia Golf Course from May 17-19.
Pena is one of 10 individuals in the Athens Region and one of 45 student-athletes that will compete for an Individual National Championship. The field of 45 individuals is made up of players over the six different regions whose teams didn’t earn a bid into the NCAA Championship.
The top individual from each of the six regions will advance to the finals from May 29 - June 3, at The Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. The University of Southern California is the host institution for this year’s championships.
“I’m proud of Brandon for all of his hard work throughout his four years at FGCU and it’s exciting to see it all pay off in a chance to play for a National Championship on the individual level,” said head coach Brent Jensen. “It’s also great for our program to make a mark in the postseason during our first year of eligibility. I’m really looking forward to sharing this experience with Brandon.”
Although it was able to play in the Atlantic Sun Championship the past four years, FGCU was not able to qualify for the NCAA Championship until this year due to the four-year Division I transition period.
A-Sun champ UNF earned the No. 2 seed in the Athens Region while 2011 A-Sun winner Kennesaw State is the No. 7 seed in the Ann Arbor Region. Pena is one of four players from the A-Sun to make the individual field and will be joined by Mercer’s James Beale in Athens.
Currently ranked No. 112 in the Golfstat Cup rankings, Pena’s senior campaign sports a team-low 72.5 stroke average and a spot on the Atlantic Sun All-Conference second team for the second consecutive year. Pena is just one of two Eagles to participate in all 11 tournaments, providing a counting score in 32 of 33 rounds thanks in part to seven top 10s. The Clewiston, Fla. product’s team-high 18 par or lower rounds are highlighted by a 71(-1)-67(-5)-68(-4)/206(-10) scorecard at the Cobra-PUMA Invitational hosted by Xavier in which he took home medalist honors.
Pena is currently second all-time in the FGCU record books in career rounds played (100), counting scores (90), par or lower rounds (40), and third in career scoring average (73.3). Over 34 career tournaments, he has posted 24 top 20s, a solid 15 top 10s and a counting score in 90 of 100 rounds. Pena also finished in the top 15 in all four of his A-Sun Championship appearances.
He also owns four of the top 13 54-hole scores in program history, led by the previously mentioned -10 206 at the Cobra-PUMA Invite that ranks fifth. Pena’s best single-round came at the 2010 A-Sun Championship when he fired a conference final round record seven-under par 65 to help him finish second overall.
Recently graduating with a 3.65 GPA and an engineering degree, Pena was a finalist for the Eagle Scholar Athlete Award at the 2012 FGCU Athletics Awards Ceremony and is a nominee for the Capital One Academic All-America® Men’s At-Large team.
University of Georgia Golf Course – Athens, Georgia
1. Joe David, Ole Miss
2. Jacobo Pastor, Charleston Southern
3. Trey Valentine, USF
4. Chad Ramey, Mississippi State
5. Sebastian Soderberg, Coastal Carolina
6. Brandon Pena, FGCU
7. James Beale, Mercer
8. David Denlinger, Charleston Southern
9. Kamito Hirai, Winthrop
10. Clay Myers, Jackson State
Grandover Resort — East Course — Greensboro, N.C.
1. Vaita Guillaume, Campbell
2. Sam Ryder, Stetson
3. Rhys Enoch, East Tennessee State
4. Casey O’Toole, Samford
5. Leo Garcia, Sacred Heart
University of Michigan Golf Course – Ann Arbor, Mich.
1. Peter Williamson, Dartmouth
2. Matt Thompson, Michigan
3. Sebastian MacLean, Xavier
4. Erik Van Rooyen, Minnesota
5. Dan Ellis, Michigan State
6. Tyler Merkel, Ball State
7. Charlie Bull, Akron
8. Chad Ebert, Green Bay
9. William Park, Army
10. Greg Matthias, Delaware
The Club at Olde Stone – Bowling Green, Ky.
1. Jace Long, Missouri
2. Justin Dorward, Louisville
3. Adam Hofmann, Vanderbilt
4. Emilio Cuartero, Missouri
5. Anthony Bradley, Austin Peay
Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club – Norman, Okla.
1. Martin Simonsen, UTEP
2. Kevin Lucas, Nevada
3. Mitchell McLeroy, Stephen F. Austin
4. Scott Willman, Nebraska
5. Alfred Kerstis, UALR
Stanford Golf Course – Stanford, Calif.
1. Zac Blair, Brigham Young
2. Justin Shin, New Mexico State
3. Josh Anderson, Pepperdine
4. Alex Edfort, Pacific
5. Justin Keiley, Brigham Young
6. Allan Jun, UC Irvine
7. Mason Casper, Utah Valley
8. Johnny MacArthur, Pepperdine
9. Jarred Bossio, Idaho
10. Zachery Fullerton, New Mexico State