HARMONY, Fla. – With a closing round of 6-under par from Matt Cote, the FGCU men’s golf team carded a combined score of 281 in the final round to earn first place at the Harmony Preserve Intercollegiate Tuesday afternoon. The Eagles produced scores of 288 and 285 on Monday and finished with a total of 854 through three rounds of action.
The Eagles finished tied with Northwood University but claimed first place with the lowest final-round score. The score of 281 was the best round produced by a team in the two-day event and was five strokes better than any other round on Tuesday. Individually, the Eagles saw four golfers place within the top-10.
“I’m proud of the way the guys played today,” head coach Brent Jensen said of the team’s impressive final round. “Matt and Mike really stepped up. Matt hit every green in regulation today and had ample amount of birdie looks and really capitalized. Jack bounded back in a big way from our tournament at Sawgrass which I’m very pleased with. Our scored were pretty diverse but we managed a good team score and I’m confident that the result of today will be contagious leading up to our next tournament.”
Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot High School) led the Eagles with a fourth-place finish and an overall score of 213. After carding rounds of 72 and 69 on Monday, Hernandez finished with an even-par score of 72 in the final round. Hernandez carded three birdies on the front nine but recorded bogeys on three-consecutive holes on the back nine. He finished with a birdie on 16 and bogeyed 18 for an even score on the day and to finish 3-under overall.
Hernandez finished just five strokes behind tournament winner Derron Peyton of Florida Atlantic and only one stroke out of third place.
The Eagles’ largest jump was produced by senior Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University High School) who moved from 14th to fifth in the third round. After ranking 14th through the first two rounds, Cote converted six birdies in his final round for a tournament-best score of 66. The score was two shots better than any other golfer produced throughout the entire event. Cote finished the tournament 2-under overall and ranked fifth among the tournament’s 30 golfers with a score of 214.
Mike Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers High School) tied for 14th through two rounds but finished in seventh with a score of 217 after shooting 3-under in the final round. Andre bogeyed the first hole before converting three birdies to complete the front nine. He went on to shoot bogeys on 12 and 15 but birdied three of his final six holes to finish at 3-under.
Sophomore Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian High School) placed 10th in the field with a total score of 219 through three rounds. In his final round, Sherwin carded a double bogey on the fourth and a bogey on the fifth before recovering with birdies on holes five and seven. After making the turn at +1, Sherwin bogeyed 11 and birdied 15. He concluded his round with a bogey on 18 to finish at +2 on the day and +3 overall.
Junior Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College) finished tied for 13th at 220 after three rounds at the Harmony Preserve. Biggs finished 5-over in the final round to conclude the tournament at +4. He was even through the front nine but carded bogeys on 14 and 15 and shot a double bogey on 18 to conclude the day with a 77.
Freshman Casper Howells (London, England/Bradfield College) rounded out the team with a 25th place ranking. Howells carded a score of 76 in the final round for a total of 229. The rookie recorded four bogeys in the first 12 holes before shooting par in the final six for a +4 score of 76.
The Eagles will continue a busy month of March with the Talis Park Collegiate Golf Challenge Mar. 15-17. The event, which is hosted by Ball State, will take place at Talis Park in Naples.
4. Jack Hernandez 72-69-72-213
5. Matt Cote 76-72-66-214
7. Mike Andre 74-74-69-217
T10. Jake Sherwin 75-70-74-219
T13. Blake Biggs 69-74-77-220
25. Casper Howells 73-80-76-229
TEAM RESULTS (Golfweek Rankings)
1. (no. 90) FGCU 288-258-281-854
2. Northwood 283-285-286-854
3. (no. 173) Florida Atlantic 292-290-289-871
4. (no. 219) Stetson 289-297-291-877
5. (no. 282) Villanova 293-304-297-894