Figueroa, Eagles Break Program Records en route to Cobra-PUMA Invite Title
Monday, October 01, 2012 | by Patrick Pierson (@pierson_sid)
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FGCU set a program 54-hole record, playing the three rounds at 27-under par.
FGCU set a program 54-hole record, playing the three rounds at 27-under par.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Led by freshman Edward Figueroa’s (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann) Miromar Lakes Golf Club record eight-under 64, the FGCU men’s golf team capped the Cobra-PUMA Invitational with its third consecutive under-par round en route to defending its title with a 19-stroke win over the 15-team field.

With Figueroa taking home medalist honors and fellow freshman Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian HS) at under-par in the final round, the Eagles’ nine-under 279 on Monday pushed its three-round total to 27-under 837, a new 54-hole program record. The 278(-10)-280(-8)-279(-9)/837(-27) is six strokes better than the previous record set in 2007 at Treasure Coast Men’s Classic.

Not only did Figueroa’s 64 help push the Eagles to a team 54-hole program record, it also did the same on an individual front. Figueroa’s 64 equals the lowest round in program history set by Steven Taylor in 2007 at the NCAA Division II South Regional and his 54-hole 70(-2)-66(-6)-64(-8)/200(-16) is four strokes better than the previous record of 204 held by current assistant coach Dan Mazziotta.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better total team performance than what we got over the last two days,” said head coach Brent Jensen. “Eduard’s performance today was pretty special and it’s a testament to his ability and focus that he put together three straight under-par rounds. I’m very proud of what we were able to do this weekend and I can’t wait to get back on the course and build off of this performance.’

Big Ten member Penn State (856) finished 19 strokes behind FGCU in second place, while Bethune-Cookman (857) entered the day and held onto third place. Wofford (861) and FAU (865) rounded out the field’s top five, as a tournament-high eight squads posted rounds of even-par or lower in Monday’s finale.

The tournament title is the seventh in the last three falls under Jensen, as FGCU defended its championship from the 2011 Cobra-PUMA Invitational also held at Miromar Lakes Golf Club. As a team, the Green and Blue led the field in birdies (64), par 3 scoring (+1), par 4 scoring (+15) and were second in par 5 scoring (-27).

Figueroa’s bogey-free 64 featured eight birdies, as he made 16 over the three rounds, while also carding 35 pars, the team’s lone eagle and just two bogeys. The nearby Naples native became the 16th player in program history to win an individual tournament title, joining current teammates sophomore Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) and senior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School).

Looking further into Figueroa’s scorecard, he went the final 26 holes without making a bogey playing that span 12-under par. He finished tops in the 81-player field in par 4 (-5) and par 5 scoring (-10) and was tied for second in birdies.

Hernandez followed his back-to-back under-par rounds on Sunday with a one-over 73 on Monday to finish in a two-way tie for sixth place. Hernandez shot a 68(-4)-69(-3)-73/210(-6) for his sixth career top 10 finish. His two under-par rounds were the eighth and ninth of his career, as he played the 7,100-yard course’s par 5s at eight-under and made 14 birdies.

Like Hernandez, junior Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University HS) shot one-over 73 in the final round after a pair of under-par performances on Sunday. Playing in his first tournament of the year, Cote delivered three counting scores of 69(-3)-70(-2)-73/212(-4) to tie for ninth overall. He equaled Hernandez’s 14 birdies and was seven-under on the par 5s. Cote was even-par or lower on the back nine all three rounds.

Sherwin made it five players with at least one under-par round in the tournament with his 69 on Monday. The 69 turned in by Sherwin was the fourth-lowest score of the day and it moved the freshman up 21 spots on the individual leader board into a tie for 39th place. Senior Jeremy Self’s (Tupelo, Miss./Tupelo HS) under-par round came during Sunday’s opening 18 holes, as he tied for 47th place at 71(-1)-75-78/224. Self was one of four FGCU players with double-digit birdies (13).

Playing as an individual, sophomore Phillip Boljanovich (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier HS) capped a strong tournament with a three-over 73. Boljanovich’s scorecard of 71(-1)-75-73/219 would have been good for three counting scores if he was a member of the five-man squad. Senior Patrick Williams (Toronto, Canada/Crescent School) improved in each of the three rounds, carding a three-over 75 on Tuesday.

FGCU will look to carry over the momentum from its tournament title when it returns to the course at the Pinetree Intercollegiate hosted by Kennesaw State starting on Monday, Oct. 22.

FGCU PARTICIPANTS
1. Edward Figueroa – 70(-2)-66(-6)-64(-8)/200(-16)
T-6. Jack Hernandez – 68(-4)-69(-3)-73/210(-6)
T-9. Matt Cote – 69(-3)-70(-2)-73/212(-4)
T-39. Jake Sherwin – 76-78-69(-3)/223
T-47. Jeremy Self – 71(-1)-75-78/223

FGCU INDIVIDUALS
T-25. Phillip Boljanovich – 71(-1)-75-73/219
67. Patrick Williams – 80-76-75/231

TOURNAMENT STANDINGS
1. FGCU – 278(-10)-280(-8)-279(-9)/837(-27)
2. Penn State – 284(-4)-286(-2)-286(-2)/856(-8)
3. Bethune-Cookman – 288(E)-284(-4)-285(-3)/857(-7)
4. Wofford – 288(E)-290-283(-5)/861(-3)
5. FAU – 282(-6)-296-287(-1)/865
6. Jacksonville – 283(-5)-296-288(E)/867
7. Marshall – 289-294-286(-2)/869
8. William & Mary – 298-298-284(-4)/880
9. Georgetown – 296-292-294/882
10. Loyola-Maryland – 298-293-294/885
11. Dayton – 290-295-301/886
12. Northern Kentucky – 302-294-293/889
13. Xavier – 287(-1)-297-307/891
14. Arkansas State – 299-297-296/892
15. Saint Joseph’s – 303-327-306/936