HARMONY, Fla. – Led by Jack Hernandez’s third-place ranking, the FGCU men’s golf team holds second place after two rounds at the Harmony Golf Preserve Intercollegiate with a team score of 573. The Eagles stand just five strokes behind tournament leader Northwood University.
Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot High School) sits 3-under par for third place, while Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College) shot 1-under par and ranks fourth in the field of 30 golfers.
“I’m proud of the way the guys played today,” said head coach Brent Jensen of the team’s performance. “We had some really solid individual performances today. We were much better mentally than we have been, which made a huge difference. If the guys continue to trust and commit tomorrow, we have a chance to catch lightning in a bottle and put together a phenomenal team round. We are very close.”
The team produced a score of 288 in the first round and shaved three strokes off in the second round for a card of 285. The total puts the team ahead of Florida Atlantic, Stetson and Villanova.
Hernandez recorded an even score of 72 in his first round before shooting five birdies in the afternoon. Hernandez entered the back nine of his second round at -1 and converted birdies on the 12th, 14th and 18th holes with a bogey on 17 to produce the team’s strongest second-round score.
Hernandez (141) sits just two strokes behind tournament leader Louis Hirst of Northwood.
Biggs led the tournament field with a round of 69 to open the day. Biggs was even through the front nine before converting birdies on the 13th, 14th and 15th holes. The junior followed with a score of 74 in the second round. After struggling on the front nine, Biggs came back from a +5 score with three birdies on the back nine. He finished the round with a +2 card of 74 for a total score of 143 on the day and a fourth-place standing.
Sophomore Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian High School) tied for eighth place after two rounds with a day-one score of 145. Sherwin shot 75 in the opening round before producing seven birdies in the afternoon session. Two bogeys and a double-bogey with the string of birdies brought his second round card to 70 to finish +1 on Monday.
Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University High School) and Mike Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) tied for 14th through two rounds, each with a score of 148. Cote produced a score of 76 in the first round and followed with a 72 in round two, while Andre shot 74 in both rounds. While holding a score of +4 on the 14th hole, Andre recorded an eagle on the par-four 15th hole in his second round to finish at +2.
Freshman Casper Howells (London, England/Bradfield College) rounded out the team with a 24th place ranking through the first two rounds. Howells recorded a score of 73 in the first round. The rookie entered the back nine at +2 before carding a birdie on 13 and an eagle on 14 but bogeyed the 16th and 17th to finish at +1. Howells followed with a +8 score of 80 to finish the day with a total score of 153. Although Howells ranks sixth on the team, he sits just 14 strokes behind the tournament leader. Each of the five others fall fewer than 10 strokes behind the top performer.
The Eagles will resume action on Tuesday morning for the final round of 18 holes. The first wave of golfers will tee off at 8 a.m. at the Harmony Golf Preserve.
3. Jack Hernandez 72-69-141
T4. Blake Biggs 69-74-143
T8. Jake Sherwin 75-70-145
T14. Matt Cote 76-72-148
T14. Mike Andre 74-74-148
24. Casper Howells 73-80-153
TEAM RESULTS (Golfweek Rankings)
2. (no. 90) FGCU 288-258-573
3. (no. 173) Florida Atlantic 292-290-582
4. (no. 219) Stetson 289-297-586
5. (no. 282) Villanova 293-304-597