29 Sep Big Third Round Lifts Men’s Golf to Second Place Finish at Graeme McDowell Invitational
GADSDEN, Ala. – Thanks to a big third round on Tuesday, the FGCU men’s golf team finished second overall at the Graeme McDowell Invitational hosted by UAB at RTJ at Silver Lakes. The Eagles shot seven under to jump four spots from a tie for sixth to second with a third-round score of 281.
Individually, FGCU had two golfers finish among the top 10 with Austin Cherichella taking sixth, while Brady Madsen tied for seventh. The second place finish as a team marked the fourth time since the start of last season that the Eagles finished second or won a tournament.
“I’m really proud of our team today. We had six scores at 72-or-better and everyone showed great resiliency and determination to put some good rounds on the board,” said head coach Andrew Danna. “We are looking forward to our next opportunity to compete.”
As a team, the Eagles posted a 54-hole score of 860 with Tuesday’s third round score the best of the two-day event for FGCU. UAB won the team title shooting 837 for the three rounds including a 279 on Tuesday. The Eagles edged out Texas State by three strokes.
Four of FGCU’s five golfers shot under par on Tuesday, while Thomas Salanito, who played as an individual, did so as well. As a team, the Eagles collected 62 birdies for the second-most among the 16-team field. Cherichella and Madsen each had 16 which tied as the fourth-most among all players.
Cherichella, who shot 66 on Monday in the second round, caught fire on the back end of the course on Tuesday to shoot a two-under 70. After going two over on the front side, the sophomore shot four under highlighted by four consecutive birdies.
Madsen had just two bogeys on the day, while picking up three birdies including two on the front nine to hit the turn one under. He closed out the course with a birdie on No. 14 before posting four straight evens.
Tying Cherichella for the lowest scores on the team on Tuesday were Pierre Viallaneix and Jon Hopkins who each shot 70 to finish the day two under. Frankie Capan III was the only player not to go under par, but did finish even at 72. Salanito was one-under thanks in part to a strong start with two birdies in the first six holes. Hopkins had his best round of the tournament with six birdies which helped cut 12 shots off his second round total from Monday.
The Eagles will next compete on Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 11-12, at the BMW Collegiate Invitational hosted by Wofford in Spartanburg, S.C.
6 – Austin Cherichella – 77-66-70 – 213
T7 – Brady Madsen – 70-73-71 – 214
T20 – Pierre Viallaneix – 74-73-70 – 217
T33 – Frankie Capan III – 76-73-72 – 221
T44 – Thomas Salanito (Individual) – 78-74-71 – 223
T56 – Jon Hopkins – 74-82-70 – 226
Graeme Invitational Field:
1 – #36 UAB-A – 281-277-279-837
2 – #65 FGCU – 294-285-281 – 860
3 – #117 Texas State – 283-287-293 – 863
4 – #86 Louisiana-Monroe – 293-284-288 – 865
5 – #124 South Alabama – 290-288-288 – 866
6 – #120 Jacksonville State – 293-288-291 – 872
7 – #167 Troy – 293-286-295 – 874
8 – #152 Lipscomb – 288-286-301 – 875
9 – #99 Louisiana – 294-297-285 – 876
10 – #135 Charleston Southern – 286-300-294 – 880
11 – #172 Western Kentucky – 296-284-303 – 883
12 – North Alabama – 288-297-300-885
13 – #206 Samford – 298-295-295 – 888
14 – UAB-B – 294-297-305 – 896
15 – #136 Georgia State – 300-306-300 – 906
16 – #204 Winthrop – 306-300-312 – 918
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HEAD COACH ANDREW DANNA:
Danna just finished his second year at the helm of the FGCU men’s golf program leading the Eagles to a second place finish at the ASUN Championship. One of the best turnarounds in NCAA history saw the Green and Blue, led by Van Holmgren who became the first player to earn PING All-Region honors, jump from No. 257 in the final 2019-20 GolfStat.com rankings to a program-best 65 to close out 2020-21. Before taking over in Fort Myers, he served the 2018-19 season as the assistant at LSU. Prior to that he was the ultra-successful head coach for six years at Lynn University where he led them to the 2018 NCAA Division II national championship and was, subsequently, chosen the David Williams National Coach of the Year. He also led the Fighting Knights to three national runner-up placements, with a third and eighth place finish in his other two seasons.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and utilize the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of D-I postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 42 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2021) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 24 consecutive semesters. The 2019 Fall, 2020 Spring, 2020 Fall, and 2021 Spring semesters each saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher team GPA in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.
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