SEASIDE, Calif. – Coming off an 11th-place finish at the competitive Golfweek Conference Challenge in Iowa last week, the FGCU men’s golf team returns to action Monday and Tuesday in California as part of the Saint Mary’s Invitational at Bayonet & Black Horse Golf Course.
The tournament features a 54-hole format with the low four scores from each team’s designated five-player lineup counting toward the team total each round. The teams will play 36 holes on Monday, followed by a final round of 18 holes on Tuesday. Each day of competition will begin with an 8 a.m. shotgun start. Live tournament coverage will be available via Golfstat, with scoring updates every three holes.
The 19-team tournament field includes squads from the nine different conferences, including the Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big East, Big West, Mid-America, Mountain West, Pac-12 and West Coast conferences.
In addition to the host Gaels and FGCU, the field includes Akron, Ball State, California, CSU Northridge, Fresno State, Hawai'i, Kansas State, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, North Carolina State, Oregon, St. John's, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, UC Irvine and UC Riverside.
The event will serve as a homecoming for FGCU head coach Brent Jensen, who graduated from Saint Mary’s in 2004. This will mark the fourth consecutive season the Green and Blue has returned to the West Coast, and the team is coming off a 15th-place finish last year.
The field is not as competitive as in FGCU’s first tournament of the season at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, but still boasts 10 of the top-100 teams in the nation, six of the top 65 and No. 1 California (based off the most recent Golfweek rankings from June).
Bayonet Golf Course, designed in 1954, was recently redesigned to offer expanded views of the Monterey Bay. The overall length of Bayonet increased only 16 yards from its original design, but still measures 7,104 yards with oak and cypress-lined fairways, has four sets of tees and is a par-72 layout.
Black Horse Golf Course was designed in 1964, and includes breath-taking views of the bay. The most recent renovations transformed Black Horse GC into a longer, more challenging championship golf course. With long rolling fairways and panoramic views of the Monterey Bay, from the back tees Black Horse is a par-72 layout, measuring 7,024 yards, with a slope of 141 and a rating of 73.7.
FGCU is coming off the aforementioned 11th-place finish in Burlington, Iowa, at the Golfweek Conference Challenge last Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Junior transfer Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame HS) shot a team-low 221, including a 74 in the closing round. Biggs led FGCU in two of the three rounds, with defending Atlantic Sun Conference Freshman of the Year Edward Figueroa (Naples, Fla./St. John Neumann HS) carding the low round (72) on Monday.
Following the Saint Mary’s Invitational, the Eagles don’t return to the course for competitive action again until Oct. 21-22 in Atlanta, Ga., for the Pinetree Intercollegiate hosted by Kennesaw State.
Tournament Field (GolfWeek.com Rankings From Last Week Of 2012-13 Season)
#30 Saint Mary’s
#54 NC State
#57 San Francisco
#61 Ball State
#71 San Diego
#82 UC Irvine
#84 Fresno State
#86 Long Beach State
#105 Kansas State
#135 Loyola Marymount
#139 St. John’s
#148 Santa Clara
#186 UC Riverside
#224 CSU Northridge