PLACIDA, Florida. – Austin Cherichella finished second and Jon Hopkins tied for third to lead the FGCU men’s golf team to the Coral Creek Invitational title on Tuesday afternoon at the Coral Creek Club. It was the Eagles’ second tournament title in the past two seasons after winning the Old Corkscrew Intercollegiate last season.
The tournament victory featured victories over five top-50 programs, including No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 27 South Florida. The North Florida No. 38 finished second overall two under 12 behind the Eagles on the Par 71, 7,143-yard course.
“I want to thank the Coral Creek Club for putting on such a wonderful event. It’s always fun to be part of such a special event on such a great golf course. The event was first class and such a great experience for the student- We are so grateful to our Southwest Florida community,” said the head coach Andre Danna. “I’m really proud that our team closed it out today. This win will give us some confidence for the busy weeks ahead. We look forward to our next opportunity to compete this weekend in Auburn.”
Cherichella shot her second 68 in three rounds to produce a career-low 207 for 54 holes. Hopkins was just one stroke behind at 208 to tie his career. The team’s 838 54-hole score was its second-lowest in program history, while its 14-under performance was the fourth-lowest Par effort of all time.
FGCU, which finished the two-day event with four eagles and 53 birdies, celebrated Danna’s birthday with the victory. Les Verts et Bleus used a strong long game to finish 22 under on the Par 5 holes and even topped the tournament on the Par 3 holes.
Frankie Capan IIIwho tied for 12and individually alongside Lucas Fallotico who played as an individual, had a better tournament by tying two eagles, while Cherichella led the field with 14 birdies.
On Tuesday, Hopkins and Capan produced eagles on No. 13 – the same hole that produced Monday’s pair.
Cherichella had five birdies on Tuesday to complete the three-under for the third round.
Hopkins finished the same day and Capan narrowly missed the top 10 after running into trouble at No. 15 where he topped four.
Brady Madsen tied for 21st (214), while Pierre Viallaneix shot 215 tied for 24and.
It was the first tournament victory of the season for the FGCU, which earned two second-place finishes in the fall at the Graeme McDowell Invitational and the Carolina Collegiate Invite. Since the start of the spring portion of the schedule, the Eagles have placed 9and5and and now first.
The FGCU will have a quick turnaround as it heads to the Auburn Intercollegiate Sunday-Tuesday March 6-8 in Opelika, Alabama.
2 – Austin Cherichella – 68-71-68 – 207
T3 – Jon Hopkins – 68-69-71 – 208
T12 – Frankie Capan III – 67-71-75 – 213
T12 – Lucas Fallotico (Individual) – 72-70-71 – 213
T21- Brady Madsen – 69-74-71 – 214
T24 – Pierre Viallaneix – 70-72-73 – 215
T58 – Thomas Salanito (Individual) – 76-73-78 – 227
Coral Creek Club Invitational Land
1 – #67 FGCU – 272-283-283 – 838
2 – #38 North Florida – 285-286-279 – 850
3 – #100 South Alabama – 283-284-284 – 851
4 – #47 Freedom – 282-284-286 – 852
5 – #66 UCF – 285-289-289 – 863
6 – #27 South Florida – 289-290-285 – 864
7 – #80 Cincinnati – 291-289-285 – 864
T8 – #40 Kent State – 285-292-289 – 866
T8 – #18 Texas A&M – 289-290-287 – 866
T8 – #84 Toledo – 283-295-288 – 866
11 – #70 Memphis – 286-288-293 – 867
12 – #91 Jacksonville – 294-297-279 – 870
13 – #110 Lip Comb – 302-289-284 – 875
14 – #124 North Texas – 287-286-306 – 879
15 – #108 Illinois State – 298-290-296 – 884
16 – #188 Kennesaw State – 309-308-296 – 913
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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, goes from No. 257 in the final 2019-20 GolfStat.com rankings to a program best 65 to close 2020-21. 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.
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 contribute, please visit www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
ABOUT THE FGCU
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.