CRESWELL, Ore. – The Santa Clara men's golf team rebounded nicely in the final round of the 25th annual Duck Invitational carding the fourth-best round of the day to claim eighth place at the 16-team event that concluded today at the Emerald Valley Golf Club.
With overcast and windy conditions the Broncos fired a 298 to climb from a 13th place tie after Monday's 54 holes into the eighth spot with a three-round total of 899, just six shots out of a top-5 placing. Oregon State led wire-to-wire to capture the team crown with an 873, nine shots better than runner-up Minnesota.
"At least we didn't finish seventh again," quipped head coach Rob Miller, referring to his team's standing in each of the three previous tournaments. "We wanted to finish higher (than seventh) and had a chance. We played very well for 15 holes but stumbled down the stretch. Unfortunately we don't play 15 holes."
Led by freshman Tyler Kertson's even-par 72, the Broncos were one of just five teams to score under 300 in Tuesday's final round. "Conditions got terrible today so our round was real solid," Miller noted. "We got on (the course) late and the pace was slow. It was tough and windy out there, if we had finished sooner things may have been different."
Santa Clara's five players all ended within six shots of each other with Kertson the team's top individual finisher for a third time this year placing in a tie for 30th with his 225 (+9) total. Fellow first-year player Evan McLeod tied for 37th place with 10-over 226.
Sophomore Gio Gandionco shot a final round 75 to finish tied for 41st with his 11-over 227 while senior Scott Lowe finished at 13-over 229. Sophomore Drew Miller was at 3-over covering the first and third rounds, however his second round 84 affected his overall score and put him at 15-over 231.
"The guys worked hard and played well today," said Coach Miller. "Today's round was a lot better (than yesterday) for the most part."
Colorado's Jeremy Paul and Minnesota's Jose Mendez claimed individual medalist honors tying at 3-under 213, three strokes better than Oregon State's Kevin Murphy, Oregon's Brandon Baumgarten and Pacific's Byron Meth, who all finished at even-par 216.
"The young guys are doing a lot of the work, carrying the workload," Miller said about his underclassmen that competed in the event. "And that's good news for the future of our program."
The Broncos return to action on Monday, April 7 competing in the two-day Wyoming Cowboy Classic at the Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Duck Invitational Final Team Standings
1. Oregon State 292-290-291 = 873 (+9)
2. Minnesota 294-294-294 = 882 (+18)
3. Oregon 292-292-300 = 884 (+20)
4. Colorado 294-301-297 = 892 (+28)
5. Loyola Marymount 292-293-308 = 893 (+29)
T6. Nevada 295-295-305 = 895 (+31)
T6. Boise State 295-299-301 = 895 (+31)
8. Santa Clara 301-300-298 = 899 (+35)
9. St. Mary's 298-301-303 = 902 (+38)
10. Utah 295-301-307 = 903 (+39)
T11. Wyoming 304-296-306 = 906 (+42)
T11. Pacific 306-295-305 = 906 (+42)
T11. San Jose State 306-301-299 = 906 (+42)
T14. Idaho 295-300-314 = 909 (+45)
T14. Gonzaga 302-301-306 = 909 (+45)
16. Air Force 295-303-314 = 912 (+48)
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
T30. Tyler Kertson 77-76-72 = 225 (+9)
T37. Evan McLeod 77-73-76 = 226 (+10)
T41. Gio Gandionco 77-75-75 = 227 (+11)
T51. Scott Lowe 75-76-78 = 229 (+13)
T61. Drew Miller 72-84-75 = 231 (+15)