TUCSON, Ariz. – Santa Clara men's golf couldn't defend its title at the National Invitational Tournament, instead settling for a middle-of-the-pack finish in another strong field. The Broncos carded a 1-over 289 in Tuesday's final round to finish eighth in the 16-team field at 1-over 865.
"It was another strong field," head coach Rob Miller said. "The last two tournaments we played, we looked like a regional challenger. We played competitive golf."
The Broncos finished higher than five teams with a better ranking, which should improve their own standing in the Golfstat.com poll, and beat WCC foe BYU by one shot.
"It's nice to beat them," Miller said of besting the Cougars. "They are one of the better teams in our conference and we proved we can play with them."
Once again the Broncos were led by junior Hayden Shieh, who carded a final round 5-under 67 to finish in seventh place with a 10-under 206 total. It was Shieh's 13th career top-10 finish and the fifth time in six events this year he's ended as the team's top individual.
"Hayden had another strong tournament," Miller said. "He's on top of his game and he could've topped his course record today."
Freshman Matt McCarty had a strong round on Tuesday with a 3-under 69 to end the two-day event tied for 15th at 3-under 213. Both players played bogey-free golf over the last 18 holes.
"Matt keeps getting stronger and he's feeling more confident as our No. 2 player," Miller explained. "His finish today is one of his best considering the field of players."
Sophomore Michiel Eyre III had his best round of the tournament when the team needed it the most on Tuesday. He shot a 1-over 73 and jumped five spots on the leaderboard to finish tied for 67th at 10-over 226.
"We needed Michiel today," Miller exclaimed.
"It isn't getting any easier," Miller said of his team's spring schedule. "And the next one is brutal." The next one is in two weeks when the Broncos travel to San Diego for the Lamkin San Diego Classic.
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
7. Hayden Shieh 69-70-67 = 206 (-10)
T15. Matt McCarty 71-73-69 = 213 (-3)
T67. Michiel Eyre III 75-78-73 = 226 (+10)
T75. Derek Ackerman 74-72-82 = 228 (+12)
T77. Charlie Watson 77-72-80 = 229 (+13)