PALM DESERT, Calif. – Sophomore Gio Gandionco shot a 4-under 68 to tie for third place and the Santa Clara men's golf team fired a 284 to place in a tie for fourth, 12 shots off the lead, after the first round of the 23-team Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate played today at the Classic Club Golf Course.
Gandionco recorded five birdies and matched his low round of 2013-14 with his 68 and is tied with four other golfers, just two shots behind leader Yannick Paul of Colorado, who sits at 6-under after his 66 today. "It was nice to see Gio finish off a round," said Broncos' head coach Rob Miller. "He was able to focus and play one stroke at a time."
With their team round of 4-under 284, the Broncos are tied with Texas-Arlington one shot behind Oregon State and 12 strokes behind leader Colorado. Oregon sits in second place four shots off the lead. The three teams in front of the Broncos are all ranked in the top 70 of the most recent Golfstat rankings with Colorado 61st, Oregon 46th and Oregon State 67th.
"There are four top 50 teams and six good teams in the field," noted Miller. "We're trying to beat as many as we can to try and move up in the rankings." Santa Clara was ranked 111th this week by Golfstat.
Freshmen Tyler Kertson and Evan McLeod each shot a first round 1-under 71 and are tied with eight other players for 23rd place while senior Scott Lowe and sophomore Drew Miller were at 2-over 74 for the day. Senior Bobby Monaco, playing as an individual, finished a shot behind Lowe and Miller at 3-over 75, tied for 73rd.
Favorable conditions led to some low scores with 49 of 128 players finishing at or below par and 20 of the 23 teams scoring below 300 for the day. Not by chance, according to Miller. "There was not much wind and it's a nice course in good shape," he said. "Some of the tees were up which also made it easier to score. I suspect it will get more difficult as we go along."
Second round action will tee off at approximately 8:00 a.m. on Saturday with the tournament concluding with another 18-hole round on Sunday. "One round, good start," said Miller. "We're hoping to keep it up for the next two rounds."
Desert Intercollegiate 1st Round Top Five
1. Colorado 272 (-16)
2. Oregon 276 (-12)
3. Oregon State 283 (-5)
T4. Santa Clara 284 (-4)
T4. UT Arlington 284 (-4)
Santa Clara 1st Round Individual Results
T3. Gio Gandionco 68 (-4)
T23. Evan McLeod 71 (-1)
T23. Tyler Kertson 71 (-1)
T58. Drew Miller 74 (+2)
T58. Scott Lowe 74 (+2)
T73. Bobby Monaco* 75 (+3)