PARADISAL ISLAND, Bahamas – Pierre Viallaneix (Apopka, FL / Winter Park HS / West Carolina) and Jon hopkins (Bishop’s Stortford, England / Mississippi Gulf Coast CC) each finished the first round of the White Sands Bahamas Invitational in the top 30 as the FGCU men’s golf team sit in 10th place after Friday’s action. The Eagles shot 294 to finish six above par that day.
Arkansas Little Rock, which hosts the tournament at the Ocean Club Golf Course, leads the 12-team field after shooting 280 in the first round. FAU, South Florida and Ole Miss are all tied for second with a score of 283.
“We had a few mistakes today which we will look to correct tomorrow,” said the head coach Andre Danna. “We are delighted to have another chance to compete and improve in the next round.”
Viallaneix led the Eagles with a tie 72 with a trio of late-round birdies to tie for 23rd. Hopkins and Thomas salanito (Palm Harbor, Florida / Clearwater Central Catholic), who plays individually, each tied for 28th after shooting 73. Just one shot behind was Brady Madsen (Raymond, Minn./MacCray HS / Winona State) who is tied for 36th (74), while Austin Cherichella (Orlando, FL / Lake Nona HS) and Lucas Fallotico (Cernusco Sul Naviglo, Italy / Istituto Comprensivo Aldo Moro Seregno) are tied for 43rd (75). Henri tschopp (Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland / Western Texas College / Dodge City CC), also playing as an individual, also got a 75 to tie for the 43rd.
As a team, the Eagles had 18 birdies, the fourth of the day. The FGCU finished the day with a plus-11 differential on the par fours but pulled six cents on the par fives.
The second round will begin Saturday morning at 8:00 am with a shotgun start. The live score will be available at www.GolfStat.com.
T23 – Pierre Viallaneix – 72
T28 – Jon Hopkins – 73
T28 – Thomas Salanito (Individual) – 73
T36 – Brady Madsen – 74
T43 – Austin Cherichella – 75
T43 – Lucas Fallotico – 75
T43 – Henri Tschopp (Individual) – 75
White Sands Bahamas Invitational Field:
1 – # 54 Arkansas Little Rock – 280
T2 – # 123 Florida Atlantic – 283
T2 – # 21 South Florida – 283
T2 – # 53 Ole Miss – 283
T5 – # 28 San Francisco – 288
T5 – # 112 Jacksonville – 288
T5 – # 85 Michigan – 288
T8 – # 24 East Tennessee State – 293
T8 – # 114 Lip Lips – 293
10 – # 68 University of the Gulf Coast of Florida – 294
11 – # 87 Lamar – 296
12 – # 196 Bowling green – 306
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HEAD COACH ANDREW DANNA:
Danna has just completed her 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 turnovers in NCAA history saw the Green and Blue, led by Van Holmgren who became the first player to win PING All-Region honors, moved from No.257 in the final GolfStat.com 2019-2020 ranking to a 65 best schedule to close out 2020-21. Prior to 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 Lynn University, where he led them to the 2018 NCAA Division II National Championship and was later named David’s National Coach of the Year. Williams. He also led the Fighting Knights to three national standings, placing third and eighth in his other two seasons.
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and 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 use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 85 regular season conference and tournament titles in just 14+ seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just nine seasons of DI playoff eligibility, the Eagles brought together 42 teams or individuals competing in the NCAA Championships. Eight FGCU programs placed in the top 25 in their respective sports, including women’s basketball (# 21, 2020-21), beach volleyball (# 20, 2021) and men’s football (2018 , 2019) and women’s football (2018) as three of the most recent. In 2016-2017, the Greens and Blues secured a sixth place, the best in the department, in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors Cup and a top 100 nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had the top seven ASUN and Florida State teams that won the NCAA Public Recognition Award for their rate of academic progress in their sport. FGCU also collectively achieved a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall semester of 2020 and outperformed the general undergraduate population of the University for 24 consecutive semesters. The Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 semesters each saw another milestone, with all 15 programs each achieving a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or higher. The Eagles also completed a record 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two finalists for the NACDA Community Service First Prize presented by the Fiesta Bowl.