May 29, 2001

Men's Golf Concludes Season

May 29, 2001

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The Santa Clara University men's golf team recently completed its season under third-year head coach John Kennaday. A few season highlights:

The Broncos finished the fall with three straight runner-up finishes: the Aztec Invitational, the Dusty Destruel Invitational and the LMU/Farmer John Classic. At the Aztec, the Broncos were led by sophomore Justin Ahasic and senior Drew Corwin, who both finished in the top 10 individually. Senior Michael Melling and junior Sandy Horacek posted top-10 finishes as SCU's Dusty Destruel. The Broncos capped the fall at the Classic where Horacek, a Los Angeles native, tied for first place in his hometown. Senior Tony Okano and Corwin placed seventh and eighth, respectively to cap the fall season.

The Broncos graduated five seniors from this year's team in Drew Corwin, Michael Melling, Paul Nelson, Tony Okano and Joe Wagner. This fivesome has led Santa Clara to a WCC Championship in 1998 and three top-four finishes since in the league tournament. In the last four years, this quintet has produced 19 top-five team finishes, including victories at the 2000 Grand Canyon Thunderbird Invitational, where Okano tied for third, and the 1999 Sacramento State Invitational, where again, Okano led his class with a tie for ninth.

The team concluded its 2000-01 season with the third annual Bronco Cup. A version of professional golf's Ryder Cup, head coach John Kennaday started the yearly competition upon his arrival to the mission campus. At the beginning of the season, Kennaday and assistant coach Greg Lawrence conducted a draft, splitting the team in half to compose a Red team and a White team. Played in April, the Red team successfully defended its 2000 title. The team played rounds of match play, stroke play, alternate shot, worst-ball scramble and best ball scramble. The White team won the inaugural Bronco Cup in 1999.

In August, before the season began, junior Sandy Horacek qualified for the 100th U.S. Amateur Championship at Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J. He was one of 282 qualifiers--from a field of more than 7,000--into one of the most coveted amateur tournaments in the sport. Horacek carded a six-over-par 77 on the Upper Course and a 77 on the Lower Course for a two-day total of 154. He placed in a 13-way tie for 184th, but only the low 64 scorers advanced. Senior Joe Wagner qualified as an alternate, but did not attend. Horacek is back on the amateur circuit and will compete in the 90th California State Amateur Championship, to be held June 18-23 at both the Pebble Beach and Spyglass Hill Golf Courses. He advanced to the Amateur by placing fourth in a May 10 qualifier. Horacek also participated in this tournament in 1999.

Senior Michael Melling recorded a hole in one during the second round of the Farmer John Classic on Nov. 13. The tournament, hosted by Loyola Marymount in Ventura, Calif., featured a par-3 on the 14th hole that Melling aced en route to a 14th-place finish.

Head coach John Kennaday and his wife Christina became the proud parents of their first child, a 5-pound, 13-ounce son named Jack, on May 20. The team is reporting the newborn already has a three handicap, despite an extended hospital stay.

Assistant coach Arron Oberholser finished one stroke short of qualifying for a PGA Tour card as the final round of Qualifying School concluded Dec. 4, in LaQuinta, Calif. Unfortunately for Oberholser, in his second year as assistant coach of the Bronco program, a double-bogey on the second-to-last hole of the final round dropped him out of qualifying. In an eight-way tie for 37th, Oberholser six-round total was 14 strokes under par on two PGA West Courses. The cut was at 15 under. While the top 35 and ties received PGA Tour cards for 2001, Oberholser was one of the next 50 who received exemptions to the Buy.com Tour.