FRESNO, Calif. – The Santa Clara men's golf team carded a final round 295, 11 shots better than Monday's second round, and climbed into a seventh place finish at the 14-team Fresno State Classic, completed today at the San Joaquin Country Club.
The Broncos missed a top three finish by just six shots and placed in seventh for the third consecutive event. "That seems to be our spot," said head coach Rob Miller of the team's final standing.
UC Santa Barbara scored a final round 287, the best round of the tournament, and claimed the team title with an 873, three shots better than runner-up Nevada. The third through eight spots were separated by only nine shots.
"This tournament is an example of how a little momentum can go a long way," Miller said referring to UCSB's run to the title and the play of LMU. "They both struggled a little bit in the fall but have played well recently.
"We continue to feel like we're a strong team and capable of playing well, and have played well. We need a tournament where we put it all together."
Santa Clara's final round score gave them an 893 total, one shot behind Cal Poly for sixth and two behind West Coast Conference foes LMU and San Francisco, who tied for fourth. Another WCC member, BYU, claimed the third spot with an 887. "This shows you just how tight our conference is and how close the teams are," Miller noted.
"It was average," Miller said of his team's final round score. "I don't think the guys were feeling that great about it. Our goal was to get in the top three and we came up a little short."
Sophomore Gio Gandionco was the Broncos' top individual finisher placing 12th with a 221 (+8) after his final round 2-over 73. Freshman Tyler Kertson and senior Scott Lowe were a shot behind their teammate tied for 13th at 222 (+9). Kertson had the Broncos' best final round score with a 1-over 72 while Lowe shot a 74.
UCSB's Jordan Epstein shot a final round 3-under 68 to claim individual medalist honors with a 214, one shot better than Cal Poly's Camden Price.
Entering the final round in a tie for sixth place, freshman walk-on Dan Hrynezuk carded an 83 today and dropped into a tie for 42nd with a 229 (+16) total. Evan McLeod battled a foot injury the entire tournament and compiled a 240.
"We know we're capable of playing at a much higher level," said Miller. "It was there for us. We felt like we were in position to make a move and we just didn't."
The Broncos return to the links on March 24 competing in the two-day University of Oregon Duck Invitational to be played at the Emerald Valley Golf Club in Eugene, Ore.
Fresno State Classic Final Round Top 10
1. UC Santa Barbara 288-298-287 = 873 (+21)
2. Nevada 290-294-292 = 876 (+24)
3. Brigham Young 300-292-295 = 887 (+35)
T4. Loyola Marymount 298-305-288 = 891 (+39)
T4. San Francisco 290-296-305 = 891 (+39)
6. Cal Poly 293-303-296 = 892 (+40)
7. Santa Clara 292-306-295 = 893 (+41)
8. Texas El Paso 295-301-300 = 896 (+44)
9. Fresno State 299-313-289 = 901 (+49)
T10. CS Northridge 307-303-294 = 904 (+52)
T10. Grand Canyon 306-300-298 = 904 (+52)
Santa Clara Final Round Individual Results
12. Gio Gandionco 73-75-73 = 221 (+8)
T13. Tyler Kertson 70-80-72 = 222 (+9)
T13. Scott Lowe 72-76-74 = 222 (+9)
T45. Drew Miller 79-75-76 = 230 (+17)
T81. Evan McLeod 82-80-78 = 240 (+27)
T69. Bobby Monaco 77-82 D
*Played as individual
T42. Dan Hrynezuk* 72-74-83 = 229 (+16)
T69. Michael Hultquist* 78-81-92 = 251 (+38)
T86. Dane Casaga* 87-84-81 = 252 (+39)
T86. Carlos Briones* 81-83-88 = 252 (+39)