Solid Back Nine Helps Men’s Golf Stay in Contention After 36 Holes at WCC Championships

Solid Back Nine Helps Men’s Golf Stay in Contention After 36 Holes at WCC Championships

SANTEE, Calif. – Santa Clara men's golf posted a solid score on the final nine on Tuesday to remain in contention after 36 holes of play at the West Coast Conference Championships.

Led by Hayden Shieh's 1-under 71, the Broncos shot a second-round 4-over 291 and sit in fourth place at 5-over in the nine-team field at the three-day event.

Matt McCarty fell from a tie for fourth into a tie for ninth with a 1-over 71, but he was the most impressive Bronco on the final nine holes as all teams began on No. 10. The sophomore was 5-over on the opening nine, but rebounded with four birdies and no bogeys on the back nine.

Santa Clara's five players were a combined 5-under on the back nine after shooting eight strokes over par on the opening nine on the 7,122-yard Carlton Oaks Golf Club course.

"I'm not sure why we got off to a slow start today," head coach Rob Miller said. "The conditions were more favorable early before the winds came up. Hayden was the only one who was even-par on the front. Yesterday (the back nine) was the easier nine. The guys just rallied and played well on the back nine. It didn't look like the front nine played any easier based on the wind."

No. 33-ranked Pepperdine was first after Monday's opening round and remains atop the leaderboard at 13-under 572. BYU, ranked 40th in the nation, had the best round of the day, carding a 13-under 275 to improve from sixth to second with a 4-under total. Saint Mary's is third at 2-over.

Shieh is tied for 13th at 1-over 145 and Jack Avrit is tied for 19th at 3-over.

Derek Ackerman had the fourth score for the Broncos, posting a 1-over 73. He was 3-over in the first five holes, but had four birdies and two bogeys the rest of the way. The junior is tied for 24th at 4-over.

BYU's Rhett Rasmussen posted a 66, the best round of the day, to move into a tie for the lead at 6-under 138 with Riley Elmes of LMU who carded a 67.

Avrit has been the most consistent performer of the last two days, posting a tournament-best 29 pars. Matt McCarty has nine birdies, just one less than the tournament leader.

Wednesday's final round tees times begin at 8:45 a.m. for the Broncos who entered the event No. 50 in the nation.

"Hopefully we get to play before the wind comes up tomorrow, take advantage and see what happens behind us," Miller said.

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