PALM DESERT, Calif. – Led by freshman Tyler Kertson's 3-under 69, the Santa Clara men's golf team shot a 285 in today's second round and sits alone in fifth place with a two-day total of 569 at the 23-team Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate played at the Classic Club Golf Course.
Oregon, ranked 46th this week by Golfstat, slipped into the lead after scoring a 279 in today's second round for a total of 555, one stroke better than Colorado. Idaho and Oregon State are tied for third with a two-day team score of 566, just three strokes better than the Broncos.
"Another pretty good day," said head coach Rob Miller.
Trailing Idaho and Oregon State by only three shots heading into the final round, a top 3 finish is a goal within reach for the Broncos. "We would like to finish in the top three, that would be nice," Miller said. "We posted two pretty good scores. We'll go out and do our thing, play the best we can and see what happens tomorrow."
Sophomore Gio Gandionco shot a 2-under 70 today and is tied for third place with three other golfers at 6-under, two shots back of leader David Fink from Oregon State. Oregon's Ryann Ree is second at 7-under heading into Sunday's final round.
For the first time all season Gandionco was able to string together consecutive below-par rounds and matched his total of sub-par rounds from the fall. "I'm hitting the ball really well," he noted. "I worked hard after The Farms (the team's last tournament) and some of my mistakes were mental but I was able to bounce back."
Kertson followed his first round 71 with today's 3-under 69 and climbed into a tie for 12th with five other golfers at 4-under (140), only four strokes off the pace. Scott Lowe was under par today at -2 (70) and sits in a tie for 36th at even-par (144).
"We had three guys that played well today," said Miller. "To compete with these top teams we really have to play well."
Evan McLeod's 4-over 76 was the fourth score used in the team tally and his two birdies on the final two holes chopped a couple of strokes off the team score. "Evan finishing birdie-birdie really helped us out," Miller stated. "We were 6-under on the last three holes to finish strong. That kept us in contention. You have to play to the end because you never know. Evan stayed focused and saved us a couple of strokes."
Heading into the final 18 holes with his first career top 10 finish in sight, Gandionco isn't feeling the pressure. "Not really," he said when asked. "I just need to play my game, not think about chasing the leaders and take it stroke by stroke."
Final round action tees off Sunday at 7:00 a.m.
Desert Intercollegiate 2nd Round Top Five
1. Oregon 276-279 = 555 (-21)
2. Colorado 272-284 = 556 (-20)
T3. Idaho 289-277 = 566 (-10)
T3. Oregon State 283-283 = 566 (-10)
5. Santa Clara 284-285 = 569 (-7)
Santa Clara 2nd Round Individual Results
T3. Gio Gandionco 68-70 = 138 (-6)
T12. Tyler Kertson 71-69 = 140 (-4)
T36. Scott Lowe 74-70 = 144 (E)
T59. Evan McLeod 71-76 = 147 (+3)
T74. Bobby Monaco* 75-75 = 150 (+6)
T103. Drew Miller 74-80 = 154 (+10)