BREMERTON, Wash. – The Santa Clara men's golf team carded an even-par round of 288 and sits tied for third place, three shots off the lead after the first day of the tightly contested West Coast Conference Championship, completed today at the at the 7,007-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club Olympic Course in Bremerton, Wash.
"Not bad," head coach Rob Miller said of his team's third straight round of 288. "We kept ourselves in the thick of things at the top. What you saw is what we need to do. We have five solid players. We need four guys to put up solid scores to compete."
The nine teams are separated by only 11 strokes with favorite BYU leading the pack by one shot after scoring a 3-under 285. Pacific is one shot back at 286 with Santa Clara and San Francisco tied for third following their 288.
"Nobody's out of it," Miller noted. "I expect the same thing tomorrow. Not much separation."
Freshman Tyler Kertson and senior Scott Lowe posted solid rounds of 1-under 71 to lead the team. Kertson played the final 16 holes at 3-under after a bogey-bogey start and The two are tied for seventh place with six other golfers, five shots behind first round leader Byron Meth of Pacific, who came in at 6-under 66. USF's Cory McElyea placed second after his 4-under 68 with four players tied at 2-under.
Sophomore Gio Gandionco birdied the par-4 18th hole to finish at even-par 72 and enters the second round tied for 15th place. Freshman Evan McLeod scored a birdie on the 10th, 11th and 13th holes to reach 1-under, but he bogeyed three of the last five holes and ended tied for 28th at 2-over 72.
After a rough start that saw him go 9-over through the first 10 holes, Drew Miller settled down and played even-par golf over the final eight holes to finish with an 81. "Drew struggled a bit on the front but made a nice recovery," Coach Miller said of his sophomore.
The Broncos will be teamed with players from Pacific and BYU for Tuesday's second round and will tee off from the 10th hole starting at 9:50 a.m. (PDT).
"We'll have to play the way we did today," Coach Miller said. "I'd be surprised to see anyone run away with it unless BYU lights it up, which they are capable of doing. You don't win it today, you don't win it tomorrow. We just want to be close heading into the last day."
WCC Championship, 1st Round Team Standings
1. Brigham Young 285 = 285 (-3)
2. Pacific 286 = 286 (-2)
T3. Santa Clara 288 = 288 (E)
T3. San Francisco 288 = 288 (E)
5. Pepperdine 290 = 290 (+2)
6. San Diego 291 = 291 (+3)
7. St. Mary's 292 = 292 (+4)
8. Gonzaga 295 = 295 (+7)
9. Loyola Marymount 296 = 296 (+8)
Santa Clara 1st Round Individual Results
T7. Tyler Kertson 71 (-1)
T7. Scott Lowe 71 (-1)
T15. Gio Gandionco 72 (E)
T28. Evan McLeod 74 (+2)
T43. Drew Miller 81 (+9)