SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Incoming Santa Clara University golf recruit Angelo Jose 'Gio' Gandionco, one of the best amateur players in Asia, made headlines (pictured right) in his native country by qualifying and making the cut on the Asian Tour this spring at the 2012 ICTSI Philippine Open.
Gandionco, who advanced to semifinals of the Philippine Amateur Match Play Championship in April, is part of an outstanding 2012-13 class that will attend the University and compete for the Broncos this fall.
"This is, by far, our most talented and deepest incoming class for men's golf," says Santa Clara head coach Rob Miller. "'Gio' Gandionco is a big part of that. Living in the Philippines, they have a heavy playing schedule during our slow seasons here, late fall and winter. Gio has really stepped up his game in the last eight months and is playing at a very high level."
Local signee Carlos Briones out-played a number of current college golfers at the Alameda Commuters Championship this April by shooting 70 and 71 in his opening two rounds. The San Lorenzo product stars at perennial Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL) champion Moreau Catholic High School. Last week Briones shot a 5-under 66 at Las Positas Golf Course to claim his fourth straight HAAL individual title.
Briones has enjoyed an amazing run as a young player. He was featured in Sports Illustrated's 'Faces in the Crowd' section at age 14 when he became the youngest winner of the San Francisco City Golf Championship. He also claimed the Oakland City Amateur Championship as a 16-year old. He has qualified for the US Junior Amateur in consecutive years.
"I expect our Philippine connection, Carlos Briones and Gio, to make an immediate impact on the team," says Miller. "Carlos is first generation American, his parents having moved here from the Philippines about 14 years ago, and his game is rounding into form after a being bothered by a wrist injury last year."
In addition, the Broncos are adding Southern California's Drew Miller who recently posted a final round 1-under par 71 to place second at the 2012 Mission League Championships. Miller will now play in the CIF playoffs.
Young European star Martin Keskari, winner of the German International Amateur title, rounds out the 2012-13 class.
"Martin comes to us as a freshman but he will be the oldest player on the team," added Miller. "He has vast experience overseas and we also expect him to adapt quickly to the collegiate game and make immediate contributions. Drew Miller has improved steadily during his high school career and through hard work and determination has developed into a strong player whose game should also translate well to the collegiate level."
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