BREMERTON, Wash. – The Santa Clara men's golf team recorded their best finish at the West Coast Conference Championship in 15 years coming in second place with a tournament total of 878 (+14). The Broncos scored a final round 298 today to finish four shots off the lead on the 7,007-yard, par-72 Gold Mountain Golf Club Olympic Course in Bremerton, Wash.
Favorite BYU overtook Saint Mary's in today's final round to claim the title shooting low score for the day at 294. Santa Clara placed second, one shot better than San Francisco and four shots ahead of Saint Mary's. It was the best finish at the event for the Broncos since winning the title in 1998.
"We rallied on the back nine to make it exciting," said head coach Rob Miller of the final round. "We got it (the deficit) down to a couple of strokes at the end but BYU had a couple of birdies from their top players to pull ahead. That was the dagger."
Santa Clara's second place finish matches its result at the SCVB Pacific Invitational for best of the season. "It was a nice finish." Miller said.
"We scheduled tough events with tough competition throughout the season to prepare us for this event," Miller continued. "We didn't have a lot of top finishes during the year but the schedule helped us be ready for the Conference Championship."
Freshman Evan McLeod and sophomore Gio Gandionco were the top individual finishers for the Broncos tying for 13th place with a pair of golfers at 4-over 220. McLeod tied for the Broncos' top round of the day with a 2-over 74 finishing strong with pars on three of the last five holes. Gandionco scored par on 12 final-round holes to lead the team with 35 for the tournament.
"Solid and steady play by both of them, especially in tough conditions," Miller said of his underclassmen.
Pacific's Byron Meth led from start to finish to claim individual medalist honors by seven shots with his total of 8-under 208. Alex Bungert of Saint Mary's and Jobim Carlos of USF tied for second at 1-under 215.
Entering the final round tied for fourth place at 2-under, senior Scott Lowe couldn't overcome three double-bogeys and ended the day with a 79 to finish tied for 17th with a 5-over 221. Freshman Tyler Kertson tied for the team's top round with a 74 today and played the first and third rounds 1-over. However his second round 81 left him at 10-over 226.
Sophomore Drew Miller improved his score every round and fired a 3-over 75 today to finish with at 16-over 232.
"We're young, we should be back next year," Coach Miller said of his team that featured two freshman and two sophomores. "We gave it our all today; we just came up short."
WCC Championship, Final Team Standings
1. Brigham Young 285-295-294 = 874 (+10)
2. Santa Clara 288-292-298 = 878 (+14)
3. San Francisco 288-294-294 = 879 (+15)
4. St. Mary's 292-285-305 = 882 (+18)
T5. Pacific 286-295-303 = 884 (+20)
T5. Pepperdine 290-292-302 = 884 (+20)
7. Gonzaga 295-292-301 = 888 (+24)
8. San Diego 291-290-309 = 890 (+26)
9. Loyola Marymount 296-305-297 = 898 (+34)
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
T13. Evan McLeod 74-72-74 = 220 (+4)
T13. Gio Gandionco 72-73-75 = 220 (+4)
T17. Scott Lowe 71-71-79 = 221 (+5)
T25. Tyler Kertson 71-81-74 = 226 (+10)
41. Drew Miller 81-76-75 = 232 (+16)