LAKE WORTH, Fla. – Blake Biggs shot an even-par 71 and FGCU improved its round two score by five shots from Friday’s opening round, but the men’s golf team is tied for 7th place at the FAU Slomin Autism Invite entering Sunday’s final round at The Fountains Country Club.
The Eagles shot 293 (+9) for the day and remain knotted with Hartford for the second consecutive round. UCF, the No. 9 team in the nation according to Golfweek, overtook the tournament lead courtesy of a scorching 11-under 273 as a team and now leads by five shots (558-563) over Georgia Southern. Combined with their 298 in Friday’s opening round, the Eagles have a two-day total of 591, just eight strokes out of 5th place in the 15-team field (including an FAU “B” squad).
Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) was one of four FGCU golfers who improved their round two score from their round one score as his 71 was the best of the tournament so far by a member of the Green and Blue. The junior transfer was consistent throughout the day, making par on every hole on the front save for a bogey on the par-4 6th. He eagled the par-5 11th to get his round under par before making a bogey on the par-4 16th to come in with a 34. By bettering his score by three shots from Friday, Biggs moved up seven spots on the leaderboard and is tied for 16th.
Also tied for 16th is Biggs’ teammate, Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS), who shot a 2-over 73. Like he did in Friday’s opening round, Sherwin took advantage of the easiest hole on the course – the par-5 1st – with a birdie. A bogey on the par-4 4th was offset by a birdie on the par-4 7th as the sophomore went out in 35. However, three bogeys, including consecutive over-par holes on 14 and 15, prevented Sherwin from moving up any further as, like Biggs, he has a two-round total of 145.
“Today was a tough day; we played better as a team than yesterday, but the conditions were much easier,” head coach Brent Jensen said. “The wind was a bit calmer, and the pin placements seemed easier. Blake and Jake played really solid, and Mike (Andre) and Matt (Cote) drastically improved. We need to have a low team score tomorrow, and I’m confident we can still have a solid finish.”
All three of Jensen’s remaining players have identical two-round totals of 154, and all took different routes to get there. After shooting an 80 on Friday, Mike Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) shaved six strokes off his card and finished with a 74 on Saturday. Meanwhile, Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) turned in a 75 in round two following a 79 in round one, and Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) carded an 81 Saturday after a 73 on Friday.
Andre got back one of the two shots he lost on the front nine with a birdie on the 11th hole before immediately making bogey on 12 and 13. A birdie on the par-4 15th got him back to +2 for the day, but a bogey on 18 capped his round. Cote made three birdies on the round, but a triple-bogey at the par-4 4th couldn’t be overcome as he played his round just +1 after that hole.
Hernandez, meanwhile, is playing the three par-5 holes better than anyone else in the field as he’s made six birdies in six opportunities through the first two rounds. However, four holes of double-bogey or worse prevented the SWFL product from duplicating his low-70 round on Friday.
The 54-hole event on the North Course – the longest of the three Fountains CC courses at 6,876 yards – concludes Sunday with final-round action. FGCU will tee off on hole 1 between 8 and 8:36 a.m. Live scoring will be posted on Golfstat.com or by following the link at the top of this release, and updates will be available on Twitter @FGCU_MGolf.
FGCU PLAYER RESULTS
T16) Jake Sherwin: 72-73: 145
T16) Blake Biggs: 74-71: 145
T51) Jack Hernandez: 73-81: 154
T51) Matt Cote: 79-75: 154
T51) Mike Andre: 80-74: 154
TOURNAMENT FIELD (Golfweek Rankings)
1) #9 UCF: 285-273: 558
2) #51 Georgia Southern: 278-285: 563
3) #55 Middle Tennessee State: 293-282: 575
4) #191 DePaul: 296-282: 578
5) #110 Jacksonville State: 293-290: 583
6) #202 Connecticut: 302-287: 589
T7) #99 FGCU: 298-293: 591
T7) #170 Hartford: 298-293: 591
9) #164 FAU: 307-285: 592
10) #160 Bethune-Cookman: 302-296: 598
11) #215 Stetson: 314-286: 600
12) #234 Murray State: 309-298: 607
13) #261 Morehead State: 325-308: 633
14) FAU (B): 319-318: 637
15) #283 Lafayette: 327-317: 644