FORT MYERS, Florida. –After making history as the first FGCU athletics program to win a general offer, the men’s golf team will officially begin play at the NCAA Columbus Regional on Monday morning. Hosted by Ohio State at the OSU Golf Club, the 13-team regional field will begin at 7:30 a.m. at tee times for holes #1 and #10. Live stats will be available for each round of the Monday to Wednesday until www.GolfStat.com.
The regional will be played on the OSU Scarlet course (Par 71, 7422 yards) in Columbus, Ohio. The top five teams after the three rounds and the top person not on one of those teams will advance to the NCAA Championship at Grayhawk Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Eagles are ranked ninth overall in the regional field.
It was also the first time in the history of the FGCU men’s golf program to make an NCAA region as a team. Previously, the Eagles sent four people to the playoffs, including Van Holmgren last season. Brandon Pena (2012), Edward Figueroa (2013) and Jake Sherwin (2015) were the other qualifiers.
The FGCU had a spectacular season in 2021-22 with wins at the Coral Creek Club Invitational and Auburn Invitational while finishing second at the Graeme McDowell Invitational, Carolina Collegiate Invite and ASUN Championship. The Eagles also placed third at The Hayt and fifth at the Florida Gators Invitational.
Austin Cherichella leads the Greens and Blues with an average of 72.00, while Frankie Capan IIIindividual winner of the Auburn Invitational, is second with an average of 72.17. Pierre Viallaneix (72.33) and Jon Hopkins (72.47) complete the top four, while Brady Madsen (73.15) completes the lineout. Madsen and Capan both tied the program’s low round record after shooting 64 during the season.
The Eagles were one of the last programs in the 2021 NCAA Tournament after dropping from No. 257 in the 2019-20 GolfStat rankings to No. 65 to close out the 2021 campaign. In 2022, FGCU was an ASUN Championship runner-up for the second consecutive season, won two tag team tournaments and entered the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 51 in the most recent GolfStat rankings.
1. Austin Cherichella
2. Frankie Capan III
3. Pierre Viallaneix
4. Jon Hopkins
5. Brady Madsen
Ohio State Golf Club – Columbus, Ohio
Hosted by Ohio State
Teams (listed in the following order):
1. #2 Oklahoma State
2. #11 Georgia Tech
3. #14 Arkansas
4. #23 Clemson
5. #30 East Tennessee State
6. #35 Ohio State
7. #41 Duke
8. #44 Northwest
9. #51 Florida Gulf Coast
10. #61 San Francisco
11. #65 Kentucky
12. #89 Wright State
13. #151 Southern Illinois
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HEAD COACH ANDREW DANNA:
Danna is in his third year leading the men’s golf program with the Eagles who won the first-ever FGCU NCAA Tournament in department history during the 2022 season. He led the Eagles to second place at the 2021 and 2022 ASUN Championships and was named the program’s first-ever ASUN Coach of the Year (2021) and repeated in 2022. One of the best turnovers in NCAA history saw the green and Blue, 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. 47 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.
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 92 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 fielded 45 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to qualify for the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs ranked 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 four 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.