Men’s golf climbs to ninth place in the thigh invitational

STATESBORO, Ga. – The FGCU men’s golf team finished 5th out of 14 teams at the Schenkel Invitational on Sunday, improving to ninth place.

The FGCU’s 1-under-287 team result in round two puts the Eagles by two shots — 587 to 589 — ahead of No. 43 Notre Dame and heading into Sunday’s finals. The Eagles opened the tournament with a 300.

Tournament host and No. 19 Georgia Southern continues to lead the event as a team with 23-under-553.

“We will continue to work towards more consistency as a team with (Sunday) opportunity to compete,” said the FGCU men’s golf coach Andrew Danna. “I’m really proud of our team. Congratulations also to our women’s basketball program on their exciting first round win over Washington State today in the NCAA tournament. We look forward to seeing them compete in the second round. Wings Up!”

Four of the five Eagles competing at Peach State improved on Friday’s first round performance.

Junior Austin Cherichella (Orlando, FL/Lake Nona HS) Now the Eagles are progressing with five starts, going five shots up and moving up the individual leaderboard to take 13th place.

Cherichella’s three under 69 in round two helped him climb 21 places and marked his team-leading 11th underperforming round of the season. Cherichella also conceded with a par 5 eagle on the eighth hole to highlight his second round performance.

fifth year Jon Hopkins (Bishop’s Stortford, England/Hockerill Anglo-European College/Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) did it better.

Hopkins drilled a hole-in-one on the 130-yard sixth hole – the first ace of the season for FGCU. He also improved under the Eagles on Saturday, cutting eight shots from his opening round of 78. At four over 148, Hopkins is in 41st place.

Georgia Southern’s No. 83 overall, Ben Carr, leads the tournament field with eight under 136 after two straight rounds of 68.

Follow the Eagles on Twitter and Instagram @FGCU_MGolf, Facebook FGCU Men’s Golf) and online at for full coverage of FGCU men’s golf. Eagles fans can also sign up to receive updates on FGCU men’s golf and all 15 sports programs straight to your inbox by visiting

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Danna is in his fourth year at the helm of the men’s golf program, with the Eagles capturing FGCU’s first-ever NCAA tournament berth at large in department history in the 2022 season. He led the Eagles to second place finishes 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. In one of the greatest reversals in NCAA history, Green and Blue, led by Van Holmgren, became the first player to earn PING All-Region honors, jumping from 257th in the final 2019-20 rankings to a then-best 65 of the program to complete 2020-21. The Eagles set a new program high for the 2022 season, ranking 47th on the rankings. Holmgren won the ASUN Championship singles title to qualify for the NCAA Regionals. Before taking over Fort Myers, he served as an assistant at LSU during the 2018-19 season. Prior to that, he was a highly successful six-year head coach at Lynn University, where he led them to the 2018 NCAA Division II national championship and was subsequently named David Williams National Coach of the Year. He also led the Fighting Knights to three national runners-up finishes, with third and eighth finishes in his other two seasons.


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FGCU teams have won an incredible 96 regular conference season and tournament titles in just over 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, the Eagles have contested a total of 48 teams or individuals in NCAA championships in just over 11 seasons of DI postseason eligibility. In 2022, the men’s golf team was the first program to earn a berth in the NCAA tournament. Nine FGCU programs have earned a national top-25 ranking in their respective sports — including women’s basketball (No. 20 in 2021-22 and No. 22 in 2022-23), baseball (No. 20 in 2023), beach volleyball (No 20, 2022), and both men’s football (2018, 2019) and women’s football (2018) as five of the youngest. In 2016-17, the Green & Blue achieved a division-best sixth place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and the top-100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven teams from ASUN and Florida to earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.66 GPA in the classroom for the Fall 2022 semester and has surpassed the university’s general student population for 27 consecutive semesters. In the past seven semesters (Fall 2019 – Fall 2022), another milestone was reached as all 15 programs achieved a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also contributed an all-time high of 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 and were recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.



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