Scottsdale, Ariz. – Freshman Gio Gandionco matched his best finish of the year firing a 1-over-par 71 on Tuesday in the final round of the shortened Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz., to finish in a tie for 17th place with a two-day score of 145 (+5).
It was the second top-20 finish of the year for Gandionco, who also tied for 17th place at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate in October in an event that was shortened to a single round. "It's nice to see Gio continue to improve as the season goes on," said head coach Rob Miller. "That's what you want to see."
The Cowboy Classic was shortened to two rounds after high winds and air quality concerns forced officials to cancel the second round on Monday. "Yesterday was brutal," said Miller. "The wind gusts and blowing dust made it unmanageable."
Competing with only four players the Broncos carded their second-best team score of the spring season with a 296 finishing with a two-round total of 609. Gonzaga took the team title with a two-day total of 574 (+14), six strokes better than Colorado. "Playing with only four out of five we did really well," noted Miller of his team's roster for the tournament.
UC Santa Barbara's Glen Scher took individual honors with rounds of 70 and 68 for a two-day total of 2-under-par 138, two shots better than four other players.
All four Broncos improved their scores in the second round after playing in awful conditions in Monday's first round. "Everyone is doing the best they can," Miller stated. "This has been a tough year with injuries and such, but we're trying to make the best of it."
Scott Lowe fired a 2-over 72 on Tuesday, six strokes better than his first round score to finish tied for 47th place with a two-day total of 150 (+10). The second round score was his best since firing a 72 at the Farms Collegiate Invitational in early February. "Scott is not at full strength, but he's getting there," Miller said of his junior who had been battling an illness that kept him off the course for weeks.
Junior Bobby Monaco scored a 6-over 76 on Tuesday, three strokes better than his first round score. "Bobby has been hitting the ball great," Miller said. "He just needs his putts to start falling." Freshman Carlos Briones had a 5-stroke improvement in round two after shooting a 77. "Carlos has a phenomenal short game and he's been working hard on his overall play," said Miller.
The Broncos will now prepare for the WCC Championship coming up on April 15-17 at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. "Bobby (Monaco), Scott (Lowe) and Gio (Gandionco) are trending in the right direction," noted Miller. "We need somebody to step up in the No. 5 spot."
Cowboy Classic Final Team Standings
1. Gonzaga 299-275 = 574 (+14)
2. Colorado 306-274 = 580 (+20)
T3. Tulsa 305-277 = 582 (+22)
T3. St. Mary's 306-276 = 582 (+22)
5. Arizona 301-283 = 584 (+24)
21. Santa Clara 313-296 = 609 (+49)
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
T17. Gio Gandionco 74-71 = 145 (+5)
T47. Scott Lowe 78-72 = 150 (+10)
T91. Bobby Monaco 79-76 = 155 (+15)
T105. Carlos Briones 82-77 = 159 (+19)