SEASIDE, Calif. - Senior Matt Cote jarred the first hole-in-one of his career on Tuesday as the FGCU men’s golf team finished eighth at the Saint Mary’s Invitational at Black Horse and Bayonet Golf Course. The Eagles closed the event with a team score of 301 in the final round to give them a total of 893 for the week. Sophomore Jake Sherwin paced the Eagles efforts with a 3-over par score of 219 for the week that landed him in a tie for the 10th position overall.
The third-round total of 301 for the Green and Blue was their highest of the weekend. FGCU posted scores of 297 and 295 on Monday to place them tied for sixth among all teams coming into the round on Tuesday. The Eagles would finish nine shots out of second and five shots shy of fifth place. California ran away with overall team title after firing a 10-under-par 854 over the three rounds. That score was 30 shots clear of second-place Oregon (884).
On his first hole of the day, the par-3 6th, Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) took an easy swing with a 5-iron to achieve the first ace of his young career. Cote did not see the ball drop. The course monitor noted that the ball hit on the fridge before taking a few bounces and falling.
“It was just a little 5-iron from 196 (yards). It came off just right, a little draw,” said Cote, “Landed on the front fringe, two hops I guess and in the hole.”
Cote would finish his final round with a 6-over score of 78. Following the ace, he birdied the par-4 7th to move to 3-under par for the round after just two holes. Three bogeys and three double-bogeys would, however, doom the round. With rounds of 79 and 76 on Monday to go with his third round score Cote finished with an overall score of 233 for the tournament, good for a tie for 77th overall.
Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) was the man to catch among the Eagles lineup this week. Following rounds of 72 and 71 on Monday, Sherwin posted a final-round 76 to secure a tie for the 10th place overall out of 104 golfers. Sherwin, who started on the par-3 4th, began his round with three-straight bogeys and following his first par would add a fourth before running off a string of three consecutive birdies. Sherwin would continue his up-and-down round with a pair of bogeys bookended by a birdie on the par-3 14th. Three bogeys, a par and a birdie later, the Fort Myers native had his 76.
The other notable Eagle performance on Tuesday came from junior Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS). Coming off a forgettable round of 81 in his second round on Monday, Hernandez fired a 1-under par 71 on Tuesday to jump into a tie for 42nd overall. The Fort Myers native began his day with a birdie on the par-3 7th and would add two more birdies off-set by a pair of bogeys to construct his 71.
Junior Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) fired scores of 76-73-76 for a 225, good enough to tie for 38th overall. Sophomore Edward Figueroa (Naples Fla./St. John Neumann HS) posted a third-round score of 78 coming off two rounds of 75 on Monday for a 228 and a tie for 52nd overall.
“It was awesome that Matt got a hole-in-one and his first one ever,” stated head coach Brent Jensen. “We didn’t play all that well today, but we have three weeks before our next tournament and we have a lot of good ideas about where we need to really improve.
The course yielded an average score of 76.12 in round three. Only the first round on Monday (76.71) played harder than the final round Tuesday. The second round on Monday played the easiest with an average score of 75.23.
Cote’s ace hole, the par-3 6th, played as the seventh hardest hole on the course in round three. It played to a +0.39 average relative to par. The par-4 9th hole played the hardest at +0.63. As a whole, however, the front nine holes played much easier than the back nine. Six of the nine holes on the front played +0.29 or better. Only four holes on the course were played under par for the week with the par-5 10th playing the easiest at -0.35.
Grant Forest of San Diego claimed the overall individual crown with a three-round score of 209. The seven-under par effort placed him one shot clear of Michael Weaver of California and two shots ahead of Brandon Hagy, also of California. Only four players in the entire field of 104 finished under-par.
The Eagles return to action on Monday, Oct. 21 at the Pinetree Intercollegiate in Atlanta, Ga. The team will play three rounds over two days with 36 holes being played on Monday.
FGCU Individual Standings
T10) Jake Sherwin (72-71-76: 219)
T38) Blake Biggs (76-73-76: 225)
T42) Jack Hernandez (74-81-71: 226)
T52) Edward Figueroa (75-75-78: 228)
T77) Matt Cote (79-81-78: 233)
Tournament Field (GolfWeek.com Rankings From Last Week Of 2012-13 Season)
1) #1 California (288-282-284: 854)
2) #44 Oregon (297-293-294: 884)
3) #71 San Diego (304-287-295: 886)
4) #139 St. John’s (298-291-298: 887)
5) #30 Saint Mary’s (294-294-301: 889)
T6) #57 San Francisco (301-288-301: 890)
T6) #84 Fresno State (300-294-296: 890)
T8) #141 FGCU (297-294-301: 893)
T8) #148 Santa Clara (300-294-299: 893)
10) #135 Loyola Marymount (296-304-297: 897)
11) #82 UC Irvine (302-298-300: 900)
12) #86 Long Beach State (305-288-308: 901)
13) #105 Kansas State (316-298-290: 904)
14) #54 NC State (302-301-303: 906)
15) #61 Ball State (309-300-298: 907)
16) #186 UC Riverside (317-297-299: 913)
17) #224 CSU Northridge (307-304-303: 914)
18) #157 Hawai’i (306-304-307: 917)
19) #123 Akron (312-307-307: 926)