Men’s golf leads Tiger Invitational after sensational start
OPELIKA, Ala. – A sensational start to opening day at the host Tiger Invitational by Auburn has the FGCU men’s golf team in first place after shooting 27 under par setting a new program record for 36 holes. Play was suspended on Sunday evening as the tournament tried to register as many rounds before bad weather was expected in the region. It was originally to be 18 holes on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Frankie Capan III is the current leader at 133, while Austin Cherichella is tied for second place just four strokes behind. Brady Madsen is tied for fourth (14), while Jon Hopkins and Pierre Viallaneix are tied 31st (146).
“I’m proud of the guys; we played two good rounds today,” the head coach said. Andre Danna. “We have to keep playing tomorrow and we can’t wait to compete again.”
The Eagles finished both rounds with a score of 549 after going 274 in the first and 275 in the second. The 36-hole score of 549 was the second best total score in program history.
Host No. 19 Auburn also completed both rounds on Sunday (564) to sit 15 strokes behind the Eagles. Auburn’s B-Team is tied for third alongside Georgia State and Southern Miss at one under. Along with FGCU and Auburn, Louisiana Tech was the only other team in the field to complete both runs (578).
The Eagles finished the day with 47 birdies and three Eagles, while shooting 23 under on par-5 holes.
Both Capan and Madsen tied the FGCU record for low rounds as each carded 64 seconds that day. Madsen did it in the first round, while Capan did it in the second.
A total of four players had at least one round in the 60s, with Capan also shooting a 69 in the first round to go along with his 64 in the afternoon. Only three scores on the day for the Eagles were above par.
Cherichella led all players with 12 birdies, while Madsen had 10 and Hopkins had nine. Capan also led the field with a pair of eagles, while Madsen and Lucas Fallotico everyone had one.
The Eagles begin the third round at 9 a.m. tomorrow with live scores available at www.GolfStat.com.
Tiger Invitational by Jason Dufner
Grand National Lake Course – Par 72 – 7,289 yards
1 – Frankie Capan III – 69-64 – 133
T2 – Austin Cherichella – 71-66 – 137
T4 – Brady Madsen – 64-76 – 140
T20 – Lucas Fallotico (Indiv) – 73-(-1) — Even
T31 – Jon Hopkins – 77-69 – 146
T31 – Pierre Viallaneix – 70-76 – 146
Tiger Invitational Tournament Ground:
1 – #59 FGCU – 274-275 – 549
2 – #19 Auburn – 281-283 – 564
T3 – Auburn (B) – 293-(-1)
Q3 – #165 Georgia State – 290-(-1)
T3 – #78 South Mississippi – 286-(-1)
6 – #140 UNCW – 288-(E)
7 – #111 Louisiana Tech – 282-296 – 578
8 – #52 Missouri – 288-(+3)
9 – #161 Wichita State – 297-(+6)
10 – #126 James Madison – 294-(+10)
11 – #83 South Alabama – 291-(+11)
T12 – #86 Lamar – 302-(+13)
T12 – #103 Florida Atlantic – 296-(+13)
14 – #198 Western Kentucky – 303-(+20)
T15 – North Alabama – 308-(+24)
T15 – #196 Kennesaw State – 297-(+24)
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HEAD COACH ANDREW DANNA:
Danna is in his third year at the helm of the FGCU Men’s Golf Program after leading the Eagles to a second-place finish in the 2021 ASUN Championship and being named the program’s first-ever ASUN Coach of the Year. One of the best turnovers in NCAA history saw the greens and blues, led by Van Holmgren who became the first player to earn PING All-Region honors, moves from No. 257 in the 2019-20 GolfStat.com Final Rankings to a then-best 65 program to close 2020-21. The Eagles set a new program record in the 2022 season at No. 59 in the GolfStat.com rankings. Holmgren won the individual ASUN Championship title to advance to NCAA Regionals. Before taking over at Fort Myers, he served the 2018-19 season as an assistant at LSU. Previously, he was the ultra-successful head coach for six years at the University of Lynn, where he led them to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2018 and was later chosen the national coach of the David Williams year. He also led the Fighting Knights to three national runners-up spots, with third- and eighth-place finishes in his other two seasons.
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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 89 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 10 seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles have brought together 43 teams or individuals competing in NCAA championships. Eight FGCU programs have placed in the top 25 nationally in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (#20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (#20, 2022) and men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s football. (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Vert et Bleu posted the department’s best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and Florida State’s top seven teams won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progression in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 classroom GPA in the fall 2020 semester and outperformed the general undergraduate college population for 25 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2021) have each seen another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a team GPA of 3.0 or higher in each. The Eagles also served an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.