LAKE WORTH, Fla. – Led by its only under-par round of the tournament courtesy of Mike Andre, the FGCU men’s golf team concluded the FAU Slomin Autism Invite in 7th place despite bettering its score each round, concluding with Sunday’s 290 total from the par-71 North Course at The Fountains Country Club.
The Eagles’ 290 was three shots better than their 293 performance in Saturday’s second round, which was five shots better than their 298 showing in Friday’s first round. No. 9 UCF claimed the tournament title by six strokes over Georgia Southern (839-845). FGCU beat out host FAU by four shots (881-885), and finished 20 strokes clear of Stetson – the only other Atlantic Sun Conference member in the 15-team field (including an FAU “B” squad).
Individually, sophomore Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) led FGCU for the second straight tournament by finishing in sole possession of 16th place with a final-round 72 to cap three consecutive steady rounds of 72-73-72 (217, +4). Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) capped his event with a 74 to finish in a tie for 19th place, two shots behind Sherwin’s total for the week with a 219 (74-71-74).
Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) opened the event with an 80 in the first round before shaving six strokes off that total to finish with a 74 in the second round. He then decreased that score by five in Sunday’s final round, aided by five birdies – including one on each of the par 5s – against only three bogeys. The 69 ties the junior’s career low with the Green and Blue, matching his final-round total at the Harmony Preserve Intercollegiate earlier this month. Andre was tied for 58th in the 81-player field after round one, tied for 51st following round two but ended in a tie for 36th with his 2-under showing Sunday at the 6,786-yard layout on the east coast of the state.
“Mike played really solid today and had it at 3-under at one point. Jake played some really great golf as well, but just had one bad hole which cost him four shots otherwise he was also 3-under for most of the day. Blake played solid all day too and just had a rough finish,” head coach Brent Jensen said. “We are really close to having some great team scores. We are a handful of swings or a few putts away as a team from quality rounds.”
Lone senior Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) turned in a 75 for the second straight day and finished with a 229 total. Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS), who opened his invite with a 73, struggled again on Sunday en route to a 78 final-round score and a 232 total for the three rounds.
Sherwin opened with a birdie on holes 1, 2 and 4 to quickly get to 3-under. However, after making pars on 11 straight holes, he took an eight on the par-4 16th to derail an otherwise brilliant round. Biggs, meanwhile, was -1 heading to the par-4 14th but bogeyed that hole and then finished bogey-double bogey on 17 and 18.
The Slomin Autism Invite concludes a busy March for FGCU as the Eagles competed in their third tournament of the month. The Green and Blue opened the month with a tournament victory at the Harmony Preserve Intercollegiate Mar. 3-4 in Harmony, Fla., before a fourth-place showing at the Talis Park Collegiate Challenge Mar. 16-17.
The FAU event served as the second-to-last test for FGCU before the Atlantic Sun Championships Apr. 20-22. Next up the Eagles will head to Texas for the Jim West Intercollegiate in Dallas Apr. 7-8.
FGCU PLAYER RESULTS
16) Jake Sherwin: 72-73-72: 217
T19) Blake Biggs: 74-71-74: 219
T36) Mike Andre: 80-74-69: 223
T53) Matt Cote: 79-75-75: 229
T61) Jack Hernandez: 73-81-78: 232
TOURNAMENT FIELD (Golfweek Rankings)
1) #9 UCF: 285-273-281: 839
2) #51 Georgia Southern: 278-285-282: 845
3) #55 Middle Tennessee State: 293-282-279: 854
4) #191 DePaul: 296-282-285: 863
5) #110 Jacksonville State: 293-290-288: 871
6) #170 Hartford: 298-293-289: 880
7) #99 FGCU: 298-293-290: 881
8) #164 FAU: 307-285-293: 885
9) #202 Connecticut: 302-287-300: 889
10) #160 Bethune-Cookman: 302-296-292: 890
11) #234 Murray State: 309-298-293: 900
12) #215 Stetson: 314-286-301: 901
13) #261 Morehead State: 325-308-306: 939
14) FAU (B): 319-318-309: 946
15) #283 Lafayette: 327-317-321: 965