Various Broncos chip in to aid in best season finish
THE SANTA CLARA
November 7, 2013
In the final action before winter break, the Santa Clara men’s golf team finished the Pacific Invitational tournament in second place.
At the Stockton Country Club in Stockton, Calif., the Broncos played against tough competition and finished seven strokes off the lead.
Strong performances from a number of Broncos on the third and final day of the tournament helped Santa Clara come from behind and grab the second place prize.
“We knew there were going to be a lot of teams ranked ahead of us,” said Head Coach Rob Miller. “We knew it was a good chance for us to perform well. Everyone was focused on finishing up the fall season strong.”
Santa Clara’s first round of the tournament on Halloween day was anything but scary. The Broncos found themselves seven strokes behind the leaders and tied for second place after the first round of play.
Senior Scott Lowe, sophomores Carlos Briones and Gio Gandionco, and freshman Evan McLeod totaled an even-par score of 71 in the first round. Freshman Tyler Kertson was just two shots behind with a 73.
“The course was set up toughest on Thursday, but we posted a solid round and stayed in the mix and we kept building on that,” said Lowe.
As a team, Santa Clara shot an even-par score of 284 on the first day of the competition, their second lowest round of the season.
Lowe and McLeod led Santa Clara in Friday’s round, recording a score of 69 each, a new season low for both players. The squad earned a two-under-par team score of 282.
However, both Saint Mary’s College and the University of California, Davis also had strong rounds and pushed Santa Clara into fourth place and 20 shots behind the tournament leaders from BYU.
Multiple Broncos chipped in to help the team get back into contention in the final round. They posted a tournament-low team score for the round at 267. The squad was 17 shots under-par on the day.
“We knew we’re behind and had nothing to lose,” said Kertson. “We came out firing as a team and got off to a good start and continued the whole round.”
After the first two holes, the team was 8-under-par and quickly moved to 10-under for the tournament. The team remained solid through the first nine holes.
Play picked up for the Broncos on the back nine.
Kertson collected two eagles and Lowe was able to birdie the 14th and 15th holes.
“The scoring in that little portion of the course is where we took off as a team and went from kind of struggling to hold onto third or fourth place to the point where we were possibly in contention to win,” said Miller.
Lowe was the top player for the Broncos, ending the tournament tied for fifth place after shooting a final round score of 67, matching his career low.
Briones’ 7-under-par 64 in the final round was his career best. He finished tied for 11th place.
Kertson completed his first stint as a collegiate golfer by scoring two eagles on Saturday and three overall during the weekend. He finished with a score of 6-under 65 on Saturday. Overall, he went 3-under for the tournament and tied for 13th place.
“We have a lot of potential and such a young team, our future looks really bright”
“Ending on a result like this is great,” said Lowe. “It’s a little bittersweet because it’d be nice to keep this momentum going and get back into another event, but it’s a really nice way to end the fall.”
Miller is confident that this performance will help the squad later on in the season.
“Our goal going forward is to keep getting better and make sure we’re competitive in the conference championship,” said Miller. “If we just continue to chip away at it and get our young guys more experienced, I think we have a chance to win conference this year.”
The Broncos will take a break before they begin their spring season in early February.
“We have a lot of potential and such a young team, our future looks really bright,” said Lowe. “We showed that this last week and we realized what we can do. We’re all excited to see what we can do in the spring.”
Contact Sydney Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.