PALM DESERT, Calif. – With a final round 291 team score the Santa Clara men's golf team captured seventh place with a three-day total of 860 (-4) and sophomore Gio Gandionco was the Broncos top individual performer earning his first career top-10 finish by tying for eighth place in the 23-team Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate completed today at the Classic Club Golf Course.
"We didn't have the final round we wanted to, but all in all it was a good tournament," said head coach Rob Miller.
Oregon claimed the team title by finishing the event with an 837 (-27) total score, three shots better than Colorado. Santa Clara missed a top-3 finish coming 11 shots short of Idaho and TCU, who tied for the third spot with an 849 total.
"Five of the six teams ahead of us were ranked higher," Miller noted. "And we lost to Iowa State by one shot." The Cyclones, 46th in last week's Golfstat rankings and the third-highest ranked team in the field, picked up four shots on the Broncos in today's final round and claimed the sixth spot by one stroke over the Broncos.
At 111th according to Golfstat in last week's rankings, the Broncos bested three teams with a higher position, finishing better than 39th Texas Tech, 86nd San Francisco and 102nd Kansas.
Santa Clara's tee times were moved back for today's final round to accommodate teams travelling by air and the schedule adjustment affected the team, according to Miller. "I was a little disappointed we got moved back," he said. "It was awful, really slow pace. I thought it was a little unfair."
Gandionco fired a 1-over 73 in today's final round and ended the tournament with a 211 (-5), tied with Southern Utah's Sammy Cole for eighth place. Julien Brun from TCU had a tournament-best round of 65 today to finish at 13-under (203) and won the event by five shots over Oregon's Sulman Raza.
"Gio didn't have the best round striking the ball today," said Miller. "But he hung in there and got his first top-10."
Overall it was a good tournament for Gandionco, who tied his career-best round with a 68 on Friday. He also established personal-bests with his finish (T-8), 54-hole score (211) and to par score (-5).
Sophomore Drew Miller had the top round of the day with a 1-under 71, a nine-shot improvement over Saturday's 80, and moved into a tie for 79th. "Drew had a nice bounce-back round," said Miller. "He worked hard and it paid off."
Playing as an individual senior Bobby Monaco was consistent in his scoring. His final round 73 combined with his 75 over the first two days gave him a 223 (+7) total and a tie for 72nd place.
"It was just a long, long day," Coach Miller noted. "The guys had to grind it out and it's hard to concentrate but they did the best they could. We're happy with the performance and we'll just try and get better."
Santa Clara returns to the links on Mar. 10 to compete in the Fresno State Lexus Classic at the San Joaquin Country Club.
Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate Final Top 10
1. Oregon 276-279-282 = 837 (-27)
2. Colorado 272-284-284 = 840 (-24)
T3. Idaho 289-277-283 = 849 (-15)
T3. TCU 293-279-277 = 849 (-15)
5. Oregon State 283-283-289 = 855 (-9)
6. Iowa State 291-281-287 = 859 (-5)
7. Santa Clara 284-285-291 = 860 (-4)
8. Loyola Marymount 290-283-289 = 862 (-2)
9. UT Arlington 284-290-290 = 864 (E)
10. Cal Poly 293-287-285 = 865 (+1)
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
T8. Gio Gandionco 68-70-73 = 211 (-5)
T25. Tyler Kertson 71-69-74 = 214 (-2)
T54. Evan McLeod 71-76-73 = 220 (+4)
T54. Scott Lowe 74-70-76 = 220 (+4)
T72. Bobby Monaco* 75-75-73 = 223 (+7)
T79. Drew Miller 74-80-71 = 225 (+9)