SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University's men golf team – the reigning Desert Intercollegiate champions – return to the Classic Club in Southern California to defend their title this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, February 26-27.
Last fall, Scott Travers fired a 3-under par 69 in final round play to finish 5-under and place second overall, leading SCU to a four-shot victory over Cal State Northridge. Travers was one of just seven golfers in the 92-player field to complete the three-round event under par last season.
This year, the field has expanded from 16 to 20 teams, which includes No. 10 Texas A&M and six other top 100 teams, No. 54 UNLV, No. 58 SMU, No. 60 New Mexico, No. 76 Colorado State, No. 89 Kansas and No. 90 Santa Clara.
"A good performance in this event can really jump start our postseason push," said Santa Clara Head Coach Rob Miller. "The poor weather conditions (in the Bay Area) have pushed back our team qualifying for this event but I expect the lineup to include veterans from the last event, Scott Travers, Rick Lamb, Bobby Monaco, and Cory Mehl."
Monaco (pictured), a true freshman from Eugene, Ore., was among the top 15 finishers at the UC Irvine Invitational in Newport Beach two weeks ago. Monaco has added another scoring threat to an experienced team that already boasts three All-West Coast Conference honorees in Travers (senior), Mehl (junior) and Lamb (sophomore).
"The first tournament went pretty well for me," says Monaco about his performance in Newport Beach. "I just need to eliminate big mistakes and I think some really good finishes will follow. I feel like I am a better player, a little more experienced as a golfer than I was before (the year started in the fall). My short game has improved the most, thanks to help from Bill Johnson. I've learned to become more patient on the golf course during my rounds as well."
Santa Clara's fourth place finish at UC Irvine's invite was better than WCC opponents St. Mary's and Loyola Marymount, who finished sixth and eighth respectively, but to improve on their national ranking the Broncos must post a low number in Palm Desert this weekend.
Third Annual University of Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate
Dates: Saturday, Feb., 26 and Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011
Host: University of Wyoming
Field (20 teams): Air Force, Boise State, Cal Poly, Colorado State, Denver, Drake, Hawaii, Kansas, Long Beach State, Nebraska, New Mexico, Santa Clara, Southern Utah, SMU, Texas A&M, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV, UTEP, Weber State and Wyoming.
Details: Both days will begin with a 7:45 a.m. (Pacific Time) shotgun start. The field will play 36 holes on Saturday and a final round of 18 holes on Sunday.
Course: Classic Club in Palm Desert, Calif.
2010 "Best Courses You Can Play" by Golfweek
2009 and 2010 "Best Resort Courses of Distinction" by Golfweek
Host site of the PGA's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in 2006, 2007 and 2008
Yardage/Par: 7,322 / Par 72
Course Website: www.classicclubgolf.com
Course Number: 760-601-3600