KENNESAW, Ga. – Playing competitively for the first time in a month, the FGCU men’s golf team improved three spots from round one to round two on Monday at the Pinetree Intercollegiate as junior Jack Hernandez led the Eagles with a pair of even-par rounds of 72 to tie for 5th overall through 36 holes of the 54-hole event.
FGCU shot a 302 through the first 18 holes of the day, but shaved seven shots off that total during the afternoon session (295) to finish with a 597. The Eagles were in 10th place after the morning round, but moved up into sole possession of 7th, six shots behind sixth-place Troy, following the afternoon round. Akron (576) leads the 12-team field which features eight schools in the top 100 of this week’s GolfWeek rankings, including FGCU at No. 98.
A SWFL local, Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) started on hole 1 each round and recorded three birdies and three bogeys in the first round and four birdies and four bogeys in the second round. Hernandez was 1-under heading to the 18th in round one but made a bogey at the par-4, 452-yard hole. In the second round, he was one-over after 15 holes, but birdied the par-5, 505-yard 16th to wrap up his 72.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman Keaton Jones (Kitchener, Ontario/St. Mary’s HS) was the 5th player on head coach Brent Jensen’s lineup, but played anything like it as he carded rounds of 76-74 (150) to finish as the second-best FGCU score and in a tie for 32nd overall. A double-bogey on the short par-4, 366-yard 7th hole derailed an otherwise clean front 9 in his first round, which included just one other bogey and a pair of birdies. In round two, he was 4-over through hole 15, but rolled in back-to-back birdies on the 16th and par-3 17th to finish just 2-over.
Also making his first appearance in the Green and Blue, freshman Jordan Miller (Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Christian School) started his career with a tough 80 in round one, but bounced back impressively by taking nine shots off his second-round total to card a 71 (151, T-36th overall). That 71 was the best round of the day fired by any FGCU golfer, and was aided greatly by a 33 coming in during his second round, including an eagle at the reachable 16th. Miller also birdied the par-5 11th and par-4 14th on the back, but unfortunately mixed in a bogey on the par-4, 440-yard 13th. Miller actually made two eagles on the day as in the first round he carded one on the par-5, 513-yard 11th – his only hole under par of the round.
“I’m proud of the way our freshmen, Keaton and Jordan, stepped up in the second round, along with Jack’s solid play all day,” said Jensen. “But we need more from everyone and need to have someone step up. I’m confident we’ll get that in tomorrow’s final round.”
Edward Figueroa (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann HS) shot rounds of 77-78 (155) and sits fourth in the FGCU lineup and in a tie for 47th overall. The sophomore’s day got off to a rough start with a triple-bogey 8 on the 2nd hole and then capped his opening round with a double-bogey 6 on the 18th. In-between, the defending Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year played even-par golf, with three bogeys offset by three birdies. In round two, he went out in 37 but again doubled the 18th to conclude his inward 9 with a 41.
Rounding out the Eagles lineup was Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS), who was coming off a tie for 10th last month at the competitive Saint Mary’s Invitational. Like his classmate Figueroa, Sherwin was the victim of big scores as he made three double bogeys and a triple bogey over the course of the two rounds, shooting a 77-80 (157) to sit in a tie for 53rd. Sherwin did roll in four birdies on the day, including three in a six-hole stretch on the back 9 of his opening 18 as he came in with a 36.
The event is being hosted by fellow A-Sun member Kennesaw State at the 7,108-yard Pinetree Country Club course. Final-round action is set to commence tomorrow morning in nine-minute increments, with all five FGCU golfers going off hole 10 beginning with Sherwin at 9:14 and concluding with Hernandez at 9:50. Live scoring will be available at GolfStatResults.com, with updates on Twitter @FGCU_MGolf and complete results following the round on FGCUAthletics.com.
FGCU Individual Standings
T-5) Jack Hernandez (72-72: 144)
T-32) Keaton Jones (76-74: 150)
T-36) Jordan Miller (80-71: 151)
T-47) Edward Figueroa (77-78: 155)
T-53) Jake Sherwin (77-80: 157)
Team Standings (Current GolfWeek.com Rankings)
1) #152 Akron (288-288: 576)
2) #43 Kennesaw State (296-284: 580)
3) #59 Winthrop (300-282: 582)
4) #63 Indiana (296-291: 587)
5) #72 Louisville (299-289: 588)
6) #92 Troy (294-297: 591)
7) #98 FGCU (302-295: 597)
8) #188 Samford (295-305: 600)
9) #95 Wofford (300-301: 601)
10) #128 Ball State (300-305: 605)
11) #256 Texas-Pan American (324-316: 640)
12) #271 Northern Illinois (330-321: 651)