JACKSONVILLE – Coming of a tournament win at the Cobra-PUMA Invitational in its own backyard last week, the FGCU men’s golf team looks to conclude the fall portion of its 2013-14 schedule on a high note as the Eagles head to the UNF/Georgia Southern Intercollegaite on Monday and Tuesday.
Action commences with 36 holes on Monday at Deerwood Country Club, with 18 holes on Tuesday at the 7,223-yard, par-72 layout to conclude the tournament. North Florida and Georgia Southern are sharing hosting responsibilities of the event which started 2007 but has not taken place since 2011.
In 2010, FGCU was the team champion of the same event under the then-name Mizuno Intercollegiate. Senior Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) was the lone member of the current roster who participated in that tournament, and that was the then-freshman’s second-career event as he finished tied for 14th with a 215 total.
The victory in 2010 was head coach Brent Jensen’s first of his career as FGCU’s three-round 844 was – at the time – good for the second-best 54 hole tournament score in program history. The invite was hosted by Georgia Southern but held at Savannah Quarters Country Club.
FGCU is joined by 14 other teams at this year’s tournament, including eight which are in the top 100 of the Golfweek rankings. The Eagles are one of those teams at No. 93, having moved up six spots following their win this past week.
The Green and Blue won its first tournament title of the season this past Monday, Oct. 28, as it claimed the Cobra-PUMA for the third year in a row, this time with a team score of 855 to best 12 other programs, including then-No. 93 ranked St. John’s by 27 shots.
For the second-straight year, Edward Figueroa (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann HS) brought home a first-place finish overall as this time he finished tied atop the leaderboard with a three-round 204 (-12) but did not win medalist honors as they went to Ryan McCormick of St. John’s who bested Figueroa’s final round (67-69).
With his first-place tie, Figueroa brought home his second Atlantic Sun Conference Men’s Golf Player of the Week award. His 204 total is tied with two other golfers (Daniel Mazziotta and Ryan Michals) for the second-lowest 54-hole tournament score in program history. The SWFL native owns the record as he went 16-under par (200) at the Cobra-PUMA last year as a freshman.
Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) tied for 5th last week with a 213 total (71-68-74), while Cote tied for 7th one shot off Hernandez’s pace (214/67-76-71). Junior transfer Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) saved his best performance of the young season for the final round, shooting a 2-under 70 to cap a tie for 11th with a 216 (74-72-70). Freshman Jordan Miller (Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Christian School) also shot a 216, doing so with three straight rounds of par 72.
Live scoring for the tournament will not be available, but results and recaps will be posted following each day on FGCUAthletics.com. Fans can also receive updates through the program’s official Twitter account by following @FGCU_MGolf. FGCU will return to competitive action in the spring in the first week of February right back in Jacksonville at the Sea Best Seafood Invitational at the legendary PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC Sawgrass.
COMPLETE FIELD (GOLFWEEK RANKING)
#49 Southeastern Louisiana
#53 Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta State)
#67 North Florida
#71 Georgia Southern
#94 Southern Mississippi
#137 Loyola (Md.)
#157 Francis Marion