Anna Claire Bridge Named ASUN Women’s Golfer of the Week

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Sophomore Anna Claire Bridge was named ASUN Women’s Golfer of the Week Thursday after earning her first career tournament win at the Jupiter Invite.

Bridge fired a final-round 68, a career low, en route to capture the individual crown. On Tuesday, she won on the title on the final hole, paring the 18th to overcome a one-stroke deficit to win by one as the then event leader double-bogeyed.

“AC has worked really hard since arriving here at FGCU, and it’s great to see it paying off,” first-year head coach Shannon Sykora said. “Can’t wait to see what the rest of the season has in store for her.”

The Collierville, Tennessee native is the first Eagle to become an individual medalist since last October (2021) when Haley Yerxa won the 44th Annual Pat Bradley Invitational. Bridge’s weekly honor marked the 24th ASUN Player of the Week for FGCU.

Heading into the third and final round, she sat tied for fifth on the player leaderboard. Bridge began her final 18 with four straight birdies to surge up the charts and made the turn at 2-under. She would shoot even par on the back nine to enter the clubhouse at 1-over-par.

Bridge carded a 211 three-round score (70-73-68), posting two at or under-par rounds. The sophomore also paced the event field in made birds (13).

Her 211 total tied the seventh lowest 54-hole total in program history, helping FGCU post the fourth lowest 54-hole team total (865) in school history as well as a runner-up team finish.

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After a highly successful decade leading Barry University, Shannon Sykora was named the FGCU women’s golf head coach on June 16, 2022. During his career with Barry, the Buccaneers won the 2017 NCAA Division II National Title, while finishing runner-up in 2014 and placing third in 2013 and 2022. Sykora led Barry to 28 tournament wins in his decade as head coach including four Division I tournament victories. He has produced five WGCA All-America First Team selections, nine WGCA Scholar All-Americans, one honorable mention All-American, the 2013 NCAA Division II Individual National Champion, and the only D-II player to compete in the inaugural Augusta Women’s Amateur .

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FGCU teams have combined to win an incredible 92 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 11 seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 45 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn at at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and women’s soccer (2018) as four of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general University undergraduate population for 26 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022) saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher cumulative team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.