NAPLES, Fla. – The FGCU men’s golf team overcame windy conditions to conclude the Talis Park Collegiate Challenge with a fourth- place finish. The Eagles carded rounds of 301, 297 and 304 for a total of 902, just one stroke behind third place and 12 strokes out of second place.
Vanderbilt University took first place in the 14-team field with a total score of 871, while Vandy’s Carson Jacobs earned the individual title with a 1-under score of 215 through three rounds. FGCU’s Jake Sherwin (Fort Myers, Fla./Evangelical Christian High School) took third place in the field of over 75 golfers with a total score of 217.
FGCU (No. 99) was one of six schools in the field which are ranked in the Golfweek Top 100. The Eagles finished ahead of No. 90 Notre Dame, No. 95 Cincinnati and No. 78 Indiana.
“Today was a little peculiar,” said FGCU head coach Brent Jensen of the final round. “The wind was powerful early on in the day and we didn’t get a calm day in the least. The wind created a challenge for everyone today, and I think we benefited from that. We created consistent chances for birdies early on and as a team had it to -2 for the day after our first eight holes. I know we wanted to have a better finish to the day, but I think we can continue to challenge ourselves and we are moving in a positive direction. We can continue to fine tune things and improve for our next event. I’m really proud of Jake’s overall tournament performance, he played solid all three rounds and his hard work is paying off.”
Individually, the Eagles were led by Sherwin’s third-place finish. Sherwin produced a team-best score of 72 in the final round to finish at +1 through three rounds of play. He ultimately finished with a total score of 217 after scoring 73 and 72 in Sunday’s play.
After starting on the fourth hole, Sherwin carded birdies on 5 and 8 to start his round but added bogeys on 9 and 11 to stay even through 12. The sophomore went on to birdie 13 and 15 before adding one stroke each on 17 and 2 to stay even through the final round.
After shooting 79 in his final round, Blake Biggs (Peoria, Ill./Eastern Florida State College/Peoria Notre Dame High School) finished +10 for the tournament and tied at 17th overall. Biggs was up and down on the day and recorded one birdie with four bogeys and two double bogeys to finish at 79 on the day. With scores of 72 and 75 in the first two rounds, Biggs scored 226 in the tournament.
Senior Matt Cote (Palm Harbor, Fla./Palm Harbor University High School) shot 80 in his final round and finished +15 for the tournament. Cote went even through his first six holes before adding five strokes between holes 13 and 17. He added one bogey to finish his round and ended with a score of 80. Cote carded a 231 in three rounds for the 30th-place finish.
Jack Hernandez (Fort Myers, Fla./Bishop Verot HS) fired a final round of 78 to finish in a tie for 39th overall with a 233 total score. After starting on seven, Hernandez birdied 11 before carding three-straight bogeys. The junior added three strokes between 1 and 4 before shooting par in his final holes.
Rounding out the team scoring for FGCU was Casper Howells (London, England/Bradfield College) with a final round of 75. Howells compiled a total score of 236 for 46th place after shooting 79 and 82 on Sunday. Mike Andre (Fort Myers, Fla./Fort Myers HS) competed as an individual and finished in a tie for 48th after shooting a 75 on the day and 238 overall.
The Eagles will return to action Friday-Sunday, March 28-30 at the FAU Spring Break Invitational on Florida’s east coast. The three-day event will be played at The Fountains Country Club in Lake Worth, Fla.
T-3) Jake Sherwin +1 (73-72-72: 217)
T-17) Blake Biggs +10 (72-75-79: 226)
T-30) Matt Cote +15 (78-73-80: 231)
T-39) Jack Hernandez +17 (78-77-78: 233)
46) Casper Howells +20 (79-82-75: 236)
T-48) Mike Andre +22 (79-84-75: 238)
TOURNAMENT FIELD (Golfweek Rankings)
1) #17 Vanderbilt (283-289-299: 871)
2) #138 Wichita State (288-304-298: 890)
3) #92 Austin Peay (292-305-304: 901)
4) #99 FGCU (301-297-304: 902)
5) #90 University of Notre Dame (299-295-314: 908)
6) #78 Indiana (298-319-299: 916)
7) #129 Ball State (303-318-299: 920)
8) #95 University ofCincinnati (305-310-306: 921)
9) #125 Eastern Michigan (305-306-314: 925)
T-10) #166 Toledo (301-305-324: 930)
T-10) Miami (Ohio) (302-312-316: 930)
12) #269 Northern Illinois (307-310-324: 941)
13) #179 Xavier (312-320-316: 948)
14) #214 IUPUI (326-334-322: 982)