MCKINNEY, Texas – Matt Cote shot a final-round 73 Tuesday to lead the FGCU men’s golf team as it completed its final regular-season tournament of the year at the Jim West Intercollegiate hosted by Texas State on the TPC Craig Ranch course in 12th place.
Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) finished tied for 34th overall after rounds of 77-70-73 (220). The Eagles’ lone senior started his final round on the par-4 14th and promptly made a birdie before carding another on the par-5 18th to move his scorecard to -2 heading to the front nine. However, Cote made five bogeys against two birdies the rest of the way.
As a team, FGCU (301-288-300: 889) moved up one position from the 13th slot it was positioned in after the first two rounds Tuesday. The Eagles shot a 300 in the final round, battling windy conditions most of the day. No. 11 Virginia won the 14-team tournament – which featured five teams ranked inside the top-100 in the nation by Golfweek – going away as the Cavaliers posted a dominant 45-under total (819) for the three rounds.
“Today was really windy, making conditions and the course a lot more difficult than on Monday,” head coach Brent Jensen said. “We had a rough day and need to get better as a team before the Atlantic Sun Championship in a few weeks.”
All four of the remaining members of the Green and Blue finished the event with total scores between 224 and 226. Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) shot a final-round 76 to finish with a 224 three-round total, and the junior transfer was followed closely by Jake Sherwin’s (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) 225 after a 77 on Tuesday.
Mike Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) and Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) each finished with scores of 226 as Andre secured a final-round 76 and Hernandez signed off on a 75.
Last April FGCU took seventh place out of 11 teams at the same event for a three-round total of 902 – a number it bettered by 13 shots this year.
TPC Craig Ranch plays to a par-72 scorecard and is notable for its rolling hills and Rowlett Creek which winds its way through the lengthy 7,438-yard layout. TPC Craig Ranch is the second “Tournament Players Club” course that the Eagles have played this year as the first came at the renowned TPC PLAYERS Stadium Course in February.
The Eagles’ next competitive action will be at the Atlantic Sun Championship Apr. 20-22. This year’s tournament will take place at Chateau Elan at The Legends Club in Braselton, Ga. about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta. FGCU finished 6th at the A-Sun Championship last year at the same course with a 924 three-round total as UNF took home the title by 14 strokes over ETSU.
T34) Matt Cote (77-70-73: 220)
T51) Blake Biggs (76-72-76: 224)
T56) Jake Sherwin (75-73-77: 225)
T60) Mike Andre (73-77-76: 226)
T60) Jack Hernandez (78-73-75: 226)
Tournament Field (Golfweek Rankings)
1) #11 Virginia (273-267-279: 819)
2) #48 Iowa State (278-275-295: 848)
3) #96 UL Monroe (274-282-296: 852)
4) #124 Sam Houston State (278-284-295: 857)
5) #131 UT Arlington (291-278-289: 858)
6) #197 Stephen F. Austin (288-283-289: 860)
7) #107 Central Arkansas (290-278-296: 864)
8) #138 McNeese State (289-283-297: 869)
T9) #144 Texas State (283-287-300: 870)
T9) #199 Arkansas Little Rock (284-292-294: 870)
11) #168 Houston Baptist (289-290-296: 875)
12) #99 FGCU (301-288-300: 889)
13) #219 Oral Roberts (294-288-308: 890)
14) #170 Florida Atlantic (300-296-308: 904)