SCU Men's Golf Up for the Challenge in Sunday's Opener

Gopher Invitational Information (PDF)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. –
The Santa Clara University men's golf team will be in action Sunday, Sept. 11 and Monday, Sept. 12 at the Gopher Invitational at Spring Hill Golf Club in Wayzata, Minnesota. Led by All-West Coast Conference returner Cory Mehl (pictured) and senior classmate Ronnald Monaco, the tournament marks the beginning of the 2011-12 season for the Broncos.

"Staying healthy is a major priority for this team," said tenth-year Santa Clara head coach Rob Miller, who consistently has his SCU teams ranked among the nation's top 100. "We have a small group this year, just two freshmen, two sophomores and two seniors. Cory (Mehl) and Ronnald (Monaco) are excited about leading this team and aim to take us to the NCAA Regionals in their final season."

In addition to the two seniors, Miller is also armed with two talented sophomore players in Scott Lowe and Bobby Monaco – who both enjoyed a great deal of success this summer. Lowe (who will not play this weekend due to illness) qualified to play at the Canadian Tour's ATB Financial Classic in his hometown of Calgary, Alberta while Monaco outplayed some of the nation's top college players at the 110th Pacific Northwest Amateur Championship in Central Oregon.

"Scott (Lowe) will sit out the first event since he has only recently recovered from a summer bout with mononucleosis," said Miller. "He is cleared to practice and compete and will be ready for our next event but we don't want to push him too hard and risk a setback."

With Lowe out, Santa Clara's true freshmen will get an immediate taste of tournament action in Minnesota. After terrific prep careers in their respective states, Colin Gunstream (Missoula, Mont./Missoula Hellgate) and Brett Komoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Punahou School) must play well at the collegiate level for SCU to move up in the rankings.

"If ever there was a year where we need to improve as the season progresses, this is the one," says Miller. "With at least three underclassmen competing in each event, gaining experience, and improving from it, is essential. We have some very tough tournaments to start the year.  The fields in our first two events at Minnesota and Washington will include some of the best teams we will see all year.  It will be a bit of a survival test early but the guys are excited about the venues and the challenge."

Gopher Invitationa
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Dates: Sunday, Sept., 11 and Monday, Sept. 12, 2011
Host: University of Minnesota Field (14 teams): University of Iowa (13), University of Arkansas (16), Kent State University (31), Liberty University (34), University of North Texas (45), University of Notre Dame (48), Southern Methodist University (51), UNC Charlotte (59), Penn State University (74), Lamar University (72), Santa Clara University (99), University of Houston (104), University of Wisconsin (183)
Details: Three rounds over two days. The first and second rounds will be played consecutively on Sunday, beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. (CT). Tee times for Monday's final round will begin at 8:30 a.m. (CT).
Course: Spring Hill Golf Club, Wayzata, Minn. (Par 72, 7,020 yards) The course rating is 74.3 and it has a slope rating of 150 on Bent grass, designed by Thomas Fazio.
Course Phone Number: (952) 473-1500
Course Address: 725 County Road 6, Wayzata, MN 55391
Course Website: SpringHillgc.com
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com