Video Preview/Interview with Travers and Ueoka
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's and women's golf teams will be competing in the West Coast Conference Championship starting on Monday, April 18 in Hollister, Calif. at San Juan Oaks Golf Club. Both Bronco teams will be vying for an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.
It marks the final regular-season collegiate event for seniors Scott Travers (Trabuco Canyon, Calif./El Toro) and Miki Ueoka (Lihue, Hawaii/Kauai High School), arguably the most accomplished golfers in SCU history. Both have represented the Broncos in the NCAA's and claimed a number of tournament titles as the men's and women's No. 1 player over the past few seasons.
Ueoka is a two-time All-WCC First Team honoree and the first-ever SCU women's player to qualify for the NCAA Championship field. She has won three college tournaments and has placed among the WCC's top 10 at the conference championships in each of the last two seasons. Ueoka will be graduating with a Biochemistry degree this summer.
"We are really excited," said Ueoka about the upcoming WCC tournament. "I know, personally I am really excited, it's possibly my last college tournament. I like the way the course sets up, it's fair but challenging. There will definitely be that added pressure of 'this is it, this is for the conference championship.'
Travers, the reigning WCC Player of the Year, plans to play professionally after he graduates this summer with a degree in Finance. His collegiate resume includes induction into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame, after becoming just the third golfer in 99 years to win the California State Amateur and the Southern California State Amateur in the same year.
"Looking back, I came in as a walk-on freshman," said Travers. "I didn't really know what to expect. I just wanted to keep playing golf and playing competitive golf and see where that would take me. Obviously it has taken me to bigger and better things."
Like Travers, SCU sophomore Rick Lamb (Sarasota, Fla./St. Stephen's Episcopal School) - the 2010 WCC Freshman of the Year - has emerged as an elite player at this level. Lamb owns a 73.07 scoring average and four top 10 finishes this season. The Broncos will need Lamb and returning All-WCC junior Cory Mehl (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea) to play well in order to compete with a tough conference field. Mehl fired the tournament's best finishing round a year ago at Hiddenbrooke Golf Course in Vallejo, a 1-under par 71, to place fifth overall.
"We've had the talent to compete in every tournament this year," said Santa Clara head coach Rob Miller, who guided SCU to a tournament title in early March. "A few of our players are coming in fighting injuries, but I expect some guys to step up, especially in the fourth and fifth spot. There are a few unkowns in those fourth and fifth spots, but the positive is the talent we have."
The SCU women's team was ranked as high as No. 98 this season and have played extremely well at times under first-year head coach Krystal Kelly. With Ueoka consistently among the top 10 in every event, if senior classmate Lauren Oh (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley) and All-WCC junior Tamara Surtees (Waikoloa, Hawaii/Hawaii Preparatory Academy) post low numbers, the Broncos have a legitimate chance of finishing among the league's top teams. Last year, the Santa Clara women placed third, with Ueoka and Surtees leading the way.
"We've played some great golf this season, so I would like to see those low 300 rounds continue through the WCC's," said Kelly. "The team has been working hard and I think we all learned a lot from last week's tournament. If we can play the percentage shots, play a little smarter out there, we'll have a good finish."
2011 West Coast Conference Championship
Dates (Site): Monday and Tuesday, April 18-19, 2011 (Hollister, Calif.)
Host: West Coast Conference
Field: (8 men's teams) San Diego (24), Pepperdine (40), USF (79), St. Mary's (91) , Santa Clara (100), Portland (129), LMU (137), Gonzaga (192)
(6 women's teams): Pepperdine (20), Gonzaga (102), USF (113), Santa Clara (143), Seattle (168), Portland (198)
Details: Tee times begin at 7:30 a.m. each day. The field will play two rounds of 18 holes on Monday and one final round of 18 holes on Tuesday.
Monday: The men's field will be teeing off on the first hole (Santa Clara's men start at 9 a.m.) … the women's field tees off on the tenth hole (Santa Clara's women start at 8:50 a.m). Both SCU teams are paired with Pepperdine in Round One and Two.
Tuesday: The men will tee off on the first hole and women on the tenth hole. The order and pairings will be determined by Monday's results, with the top scoring teams teeing off last.
Course: San Juan Oaks Golf Club
3825 Union Road
Hollister, CA 95023
Men's yardage/par: 6912/72
Women's yardage/par: 6342/72
Live Scoring: GolfStat.com
WCC Men's Team Standings (National Rank)
San Diego (24)
St. Mary's (91)
Santa Clara (100)
WCC Women's Team Standings (National Rank)
Santa Clara (143)