SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Playing shorthanded after losing a player early in the first round, the Santa Clara men's golf team was able to put together solid scores of 284 and 288 on the Talking Stick Golf Club North Course to end the first day of competition at the 21-team Wyoming Cowboy Classic in seventh place with a 572 total.
Freshman Evan McLeod experienced some upper body discomfort and was taken off the course for precautionary purposes to get evaluated. According to head coach Rob Miller, McLeod was cleared by medical personnel and will be back in the lineup for Tuesday's final round.
"The four guys played well today," Miller noted. "Considering we were playing four against five you can't ask for much more."
The four team members all finished within four shots of each other with sophomore Gio Gandionco leading the way at 1-over 141. After a first round 72 Gandionco carded a 1-under 69 over the second 18 holes to place in a tie for 18th. He carded an eagle-2 on the par-4 18th, his 14th hole of the second round and scored par on the last four to finish with his third-best round of the year.
Freshman Tyler Kertson was consistent with identical rounds of 1-over 71 to end the day tied for 21st with his 142 (+2) total.
After a first round 1-under 69, which matched his second-best round of the year, senior Scott Lowe scored a second round 75 and ended the day tied for 34th at 4-over 144. Drew Miller scored rounds of 72 and 73 to finish in a 42nd place tie with his 145 (+5) total.
Having to play a man short changed the team's approach today, according to Coach Miller. "There is no room for error," he said. "We had to play conservative and not do anything stupid."
In his second competition of the Spring season, sophomore Carlos Briones carded rounds of 74 and 73 to finish at 7-over 147 playing as an individual.
Oklahoma, the 11th ranked team in country according to Golfstat.com, shot an even-par 560 and leads 39th ranked BYU and 52nd ranked Colorado by one shot heading into Tuesday's final round.
With rounds of 68 and 65, Gonzaga's Sean Walsh tops the individual leaderboard at 7-under 133, two strokes better than Josh Granger of UC Davis and three shots better than UC Irvine's Pete Fernandez and Oklahoma's Michael Gellerman.
With a full squad expected for Tuesday's final round, the Broncos will change their approach again, according to Coach Miller. "The guys will be aggressive. We have nothing to lose, there is no pressure on us," he said. "We're going to go out and have a good finish and get ready for conference."
The West Coast Conference Championship is next for the Broncos, which takes place at the Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash. on April 14-16.
Live scoring for the Cowboy Classic is available at www.golfstat.com or by clicking the link provided on the Bronco's website.
Cowboy Classic 2nd Round Team Standings
1. Oklahoma 275-285 = 560 (E)
T2. Colorado 271-290 = 561 (+1)
T2. BYU 282-279 = 561 (+1)
4. Utah 282-280 = 562 (+2)
5. Gonzaga 279-286 = 565 (+5)
6. UC Davis 283-288 = 571 (+11)
7. Santa Clara 284-288 = 572 (+12)
T8. UC Santa Barbara 283-290 = 573 (+13)
T8. Kansas State 288-285 = 573 (+13)
T8. UC Irvine 287-286 = 573 (+13)
Santa Clara 2nd Round Individual Results
T18. Gio Gandionco 72-69 = 141 (+1)
T21. Tyler Kertson 71-71 = 142 (+2)
T34. Scott Lowe 69-75 = 144 (+4)
T42. Drew Miller 72-73 = 145 (+5)
T52. Carlos Briones* 74-73 = 147 (+7)
-- Evan McLeod WD