SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University men's golf program and head coach Rob Miller announced the signing of four highly accomplished amateur players, who will attend the University next fall and compete for the Broncos in 2012-13.
The signing class includes: International champion and German Junior National Team member Martin Keskari, Southern California standout Drew Miller, Bay Area star Carlos Briones - the youngest golfer to ever win the San Francisco City Championship – and Angelo Jose 'Gio' Gandionco, a member of the Philippine Junior National Team.
"Often when a team brings in a recruiting class of this caliber it does so in a rebuilding state," said Miller, who is pictured to the right with current SCU sophomore standout Scott Lowe. "We are fortunate to have begun that rebuilding process this year. The extensive experience that our freshmen and sophomores are receiving this season will help them lead this talented 2012 incoming group next year and beyond."
This incoming class is undoubtedly one of the best groups Miller has brought in during his seven years as Santa Clara's head coach. Briones alone has already claimed one of the most prestigious amateur tournaments in California, the San Francisco City Amateur, in 2009. Keskari and Gandionco are two of the top junior players in Germany and the Philippines respectively.
Birones is ranked as Northern California's No. 2 recruit. He has qualified for the last two U.S. Junior Amateur Championships. However, Birones has chosen to play mostly on the men's amateur circuit, rather than in junior events. He has won both the Oakland City Championship and S.F. Championship, leaving little doubt he will be successful at the collegiate level.
"When Carlos committed, I told him I would look for, and bring in with him, as much talent as possible," said Miller about the recruiting process. "The transfer of two players at the end of last season allowed us to change recruiting strategies and try to bring in a 'super recruiting' class in 2012. I'm confident these student-athletes will grow together over their four years at Santa Clara and take this team to new heights."
Martin Keskari is one of the best young players in Germany, having won the German International Amateur title in 2009 and placing fourth in the country's national Match Play Championship in 2010. His international playing experience includes competing in the 2011 French Men's Amateur Stroke Play Championship, the Italian Int. Amateur Match-Play Championship and Spanish Int. Amateur Championship.
Keskari has also competed in the Boys Junior Orange Bowl Championship in Coral Gables, Fla. and was one of 57 junior champions from 34 different countries to play in the 2009 Duke of York Young Champions Trophy event at Dundonald Links in Scotland. Keskari won the long drive competition at the 2010 Junior Golf World Cup in Japan with a 321-yard drive.
Drew Miller led Chaminade College Prep in Los Angeles to its first-ever CIF-Southern Section Championship in 2010. The left-handed prep senior has been a four-year varsity starter for Chaminade, helping the program win the Mission League. He has been named a two-time All-Mission League performer in the process.
Miller was atop the leaderboard after Round One of the 54-hole Coca-Cola Junior Championship at Boyne Highlands Resort —in Harbor Springs, Mich. in July 2011 and went on to finish third with an even-par 216. His summer also included a series of top 10 finishes on the Toyota Cup Series.
Angelo Gandionco is a native of the Philippines, and a junior national team player, who is currently attending a private Catholic high school there. He has toured the U.S. extensively to compete in junior tournaments during the summer months and has earned a national recruiting ranking of No. 32 in the class of 2012. Not only is Gandionco one of the best prep players in the Philippines – if not THE best – he also carries a GPA that equates to a 3.8 in the American academic system.