March 17, 2013

Keskari Top SCU Finisher at Bandon Dunes; Injury Keeps Team From Placing

Santa Clara, Calif. – Already banged up by injuries the Santa Clara men's golf team suffered another setback at the Bandon Dunes Championship March 0 when sophomore Brett Komoto injured his foot on the second day of competition and was held out of the final round for precautionary reasons.

Santa Clara posted a two-round total of 633 (314-319) with Komoto limping through most of the second round. With only four players available the Broncos were unable to complete the team part of the three-day event. "Brett could have played if we needed him to, but we didn't want to risk it," said Bronco head coach Rob Miller.

Individually the Broncos were led by freshman Martin Keskari, who fired a 6-over 222 for the tournament with rounds of 74, 75 and 73 to tie for 31st. He has carded 11 consecutive rounds with scores in the 70s. Bobby Monaco shot a 9-over 225 and Gio Gandionco came in at 15-over 231. All three shot a team tournament-low round of 1-over 73. Monaco shot his low in the second round while Keskari and Gandionco both ended the tournament with a 73.

The Broncos won't have much time to recoup as they get ready to compete in the UC Irvine Anteater Invitational starting on March 25, but help is on the way. Freshman Carlos Briones, who hasn't competed since the Arizona Intercollegiate at the end of January is ready to return. "Carlos has been out for a month and is now back playing. He should be able to compete in the next event," said Miller. "If we can have him play the way he did in the fall that would be nice."

With injuries, a short roster and the West Coast Conference Championships coming up in the middle of April, Miller is more focused on getting his squad healthy and playing at a high level. "Rankings are irrelevant right now," Miller said. "We need to win the WCC, we need players to get healthy and really improve their game for the (WCC) tournament."

A top player from the fall season with two below-par tournament scores and a second place tie at the Saint Mary's Invitational, junior Scott Lowe has been out of action with an illness. "We hope to have him start practicing next week," Miller said of Lowe. Lowe has been under par in five of his 19 total rounds this season.
Freshman Drew Miller has been dealing with a finger issue and has not competed since the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate in late February. "Scott or Drew, one of those players will have to step up for us to win conference," Miller stated.
 
One of the more consistent players this season has been freshman Gio Gandionco, who has competed in the last six tournaments. "Gio is healthy and more familiar now with his surroundings. We expect him to throw in some pretty good scores the rest of the season," said Miller.

Following the UCI Anteater Invitational, which takes place on March 24-25 at the 7,010-yard, par-72 El Niguel course at the El Niguel Country Club in Laguna Niguel, the Broncos will compete in the University of Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., on April 8-9 before the WCC Championships. "A month is plenty of time to get ready (for the WCC)," said Miller