Oct. 21, 2005
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The red-hot Santa Clara men's golf team will swing back into action Monday morning in search of a third-straight tournament title as it hosts the SCU Invitational at Silver Creek Valley Country Club in San Jose.
The Broncos, ranked No. 42 in the nation by Golf Week, will hit the links with the same quintet that brought home titles at the Purple and Red Invitational in Utah and the Boise State Bronco Invitational in Idaho. Seniors Eric Lillibridge, Michael Nicoletti and John Colyar, junior Jong Yoon and sophomore Tim Lynch will ply their trades together once again in San Jose. This time though, the Broncos will also field a foursome of sophomore Blair Myers and freshmen Jonathan Keane, Garrett Logan and Mike Miller.
Paced by the stellar play of seniors Lillibridge and Nicoletti, who have each carded a top-three finish this season, Santa Clara will finally have the opportunity to play a course with which they are readily familiar.
"We haven't been out to Silver Creek as much as we would probably like this season but the upperclassmen have been playing there for long enough to feel comfortable anyway," Head coach Rob Miller said about his team's feel for the course. "There is no doubt that the team is playing with a new found confidence that comes particularly from knowing that your team can perform down the stretch."
Miller and his charges have plenty of reason to feel confident about their ability to play in the clutch. In each of their two victories this season, Santa Clara has entered the final round behind the leaders and made late charges to capture the title. In Idaho all five Santa Clara golfers finished in the Top-30 individually, which speaks to the depth of this year's squad.
"The depth of the team has relieved a lot of stress on all the players. Players No. 1 through No. 5 really feel that if they have an off round there is a good chance the rest of the team is going to come through," noted Miller. "The bottom line is that it isn't just self confidence that this team is thriving on but really team confidence that has allowed them to play up to their potential."
The tournament's field will include WCC schools Loyola Marymount, San Francisco and the Broncos' first look at Saint Mary's. Also making the trip out west are the Boise State Broncos, renewing a recently-developed rivalry between the two schools, as Boise State has finished as the runner-up to Santa Clara in the past two tournaments.
"The guys have had a good natured rivalry with Boise State but they truly have enjoyed playing with them and are looking forward to the opportunity to play with them again," Miller added about the rivalry between the two squads of Broncos. "They have a mutual respect for each other and they've been playing against each other enough to have the sort of bonds that come from that mutual respect."
Tournament action will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. on Monday as the first two rounds will get underway. Tuesday's final round will also begin at 8 a.m.