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SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University's men's golf program will have its team depth tested at the upcoming Del Walker Invitational, Monday and Tuesday, March 7-8 at Virginia Country Club in Southern California.
The Del Walker, hosted by Long Beach State, will be played in a six-count-five format, meaning all 10 teams in the field will have six golfers competing, with each school dropping its highest score following each round.
"This format favors a team that has six strong players over teams that are struggling to find five competitive players," Santa Clara head coach Rob Miller explains. "This is good news and bad news for Santa Clara as we will be without Cory Mehl, who is working on some swing changes with his coach and needs some time to get his game back in shape for the final events of the season."
The Broncos have enough quality players to have realistic aspirations of winning the tournament. Santa Clara, ranked No. 86 nationally, and 65th-ranked Washington State are the top schools in the field. Additionally, senior Scott Travers (winner of the Desert Intercollegiate last week) and freshman Rick Lamb (2010 WCC Freshman of the Year) have been playing some of their best collegiate golf to date.
"Coming off his win at the last event, (Scott) is looking to continue his strong play and push the team into postseason competition," said Miller. "Rick Lamb is also playing excellent golf having completed his fourth consecutive top 15 performance."
To make the NCAA tournament, Santa Clara will have to finish strong down the spring season's stretch run. True freshmen Bobby Monaco and Scott Lowe have emerged as major contributors and will be in the lineup in Long Beach.
"We are looking at this tournament as preparation for another six-count-five event later this month at San Diego State that features a stronger field and will require some of our younger and less experienced players to contribute," said Miller. "We certainly have a strong chance to win this event but the real importance is getting some valuable playing time for some of the players that are eager to contribute to the team."
15th Annual Del Walker Intercollegiate Golf Classic
Dates: Monday, Mar., 7 and Tuesday, Mar. 8, 2011
Host: Long Beach State University
Field (10 teams): Washington State (65), Santa Clara (86), Long Beach State (102), Louisiana-Monroe (118), Cal State Northridge (119), Weber State (121) and Wichita State (141), Northern Colorado (179), Cal State Fullerton (185), UC Riverside (194). The Del Walker will also have individuals participating from Loyola Marymount, UCLA and USC.
Defending Team Champion: Colorado State
Defending Individual Champion: Michael Drake, Long Beach State
Details: Monday - 36 holes (shotgun start); Tuesday - 18 holes (first and tenth tees)
Time: Monday - 7:00 a.m. PST; Tuesday - 7:00 a.m. PST
Course: Virginia Country Club
Yardage (Par): 6,633 yards (70)
Address: 4602 N Virginia Road, Long Beach, CA 90807
Course Website: www.vcc1909.org
Course Phone: (562) 427-0924