JACKSONVILLE – The FGCU men’s golf team wrapped up its fall schedule Tuesday with a seventh-place finish at the North Florida/Georgia Southern Intercollegiate. Matt Cote led the Eagles with a final-round 75 to finish in sixth place overall in the field of 84 golfers with a three-round total of 218.
FGCU entered the final 18 holes in fourth place, but fell back three positions with a final-round 304 to conclude the 54-hole tournament at Deerwood Country Club with an 897 total. The Eagles finished eight shots ahead of Atlantic Sun Conference foe and co-host UNF, one of two teams FGCU bested which entered the invite with a better national ranking.
Vanderbilt, No. 20 in the Golfweek Rankings, claimed the tournament title with a three-round 876, eight shots clear of Tulsa, which shot the best round of the invitational with a 289. In addition to finishing eight shots better than No. 67 UNF, the No. 93-ranked Eagles were 12 shots better than No. 53 Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta State).
Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) was eight shots better than the next-closest FGCU golfer as he shot rounds of 74 and 69 on Monday. For the three rounds, he finished with 12 birdies – tied for the third-most in the field – and did much of his damage on the par 5s as he collectively shot -6 on those holes, the third-best score in the field.
Edward Figueroa (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann HS) shot a final-round 77 to finish second on the FGCU roster and tied for 26th overall with a 226 total (73-76-77). Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) tied for 42nd overall with a three-round 299, including a 76 on Tuesday.
Rounding out the Green and Blue’s five-man lineup was freshman Jordan Miller (Bradenton, Fla./Bradenton Christian School) with a 232 total following a final-round 84 to tie for 55th overall. Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) shot his best round of the tournament with a 76 on Tuesday, but concluded the invite with a 235 and in a tie for 69th.
“We didn’t play well today,” head coach Brent Jensen commented. “It’s a tough way to conclude the fall season, but we know the areas we need to improve on heading into the spring season and that’s what we’ll focus on over the next few months.”
For the second day in a row the 7,223-yard, par-72 layout tested the players as only four holes played under par, and three of those were par 5s. The scoring average of 76.52 was tied with Monday’s second round for the highest of the tournament, and for the three rounds the average score was 76.3.
FGCU resumes competitive action 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.
6) Matt Cote (74-69-75: 218)
T-26) Edward Figueroa (73-76-77: 226)
T-42) Jack Hernandez (76-77-76: 229)
T-55) Jordan Miller (73-75-84: 232)
T-69) Blake Biggs (79-80-76: 235)
COMPLETE FIELD (GOLFWEEK RANKING)
1) #20 Vanderbilt (292-291-293: 876)
2) #110 Tulsa (297-298-289: 884)
3) #38 Mercer (291-301-297: 889)
T-4) #84 Troy (294-304-292: 890)
T-4) #49 Southeastern Louisiana (298-292-300: 890)
6) #71 Georgia Southern (297-297-298: 892)
7) #93 FGCU (296-297-304: 897)
8) #67 North Florida (305-296-304: 905)
9) #53 Georgia Regents University (formerly Augusta State) (298-307-304: 909)
T-10) #94 Southern Mississippi (298-309-307: 914)
T-10) #157 Francis Marion (300-308-306: 914)
12) #137 Loyola (Md.) (313-310-296: 919)
13) #111 Furman (307-306-309: 922)
14) #197 Jacksonville (314-301-310: 925)
15) #194 Lipscomb (304-313-311: 928)¬