Impressive Fall Places Men’s Golf Among Nation’s Best

Hayden Shieh with head coach Rob Miller
Hayden Shieh with head coach Rob Miller

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Two victories and besting some of the top competition in the country in its four tournaments vaulted Santa Clara men's golf up the national rankings this fall and puts the Broncos in solid position for a trip to the 2018 NCAA Championships.

Led by senior Hayden Shieh, the Broncos ended the fall ranked No. 25 by and 28th by Golfweek. Santa Clara leads all West Coast Conference teams in both rankings.

Shieh, who ranked in the top 10 throughout the fall and ended at No. 7, was under par in 11 of his 12 rounds en route to an adjusted scoring average of 69.17.

His first-place showing led the team to a victory at the The Jackrabbit (Oct. 1-3), the season-opening tournament and the Broncos kept the momentum.

"Obviously, being ranked 25th in the country is a rare for us so we're happy," head coach Rob Miller said. "We've struggled in the fall the last four years, and played better in the spring, and this is obviously a better position to start."

According to Golfweek, Santa Clara posted a 53-9 head-to-head record and led nation in par-4 scoring (4.02).

The Broncos, ranked No. 22 at the time, defeated 29th BYU and No. 48 Saint Mary's in winning the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational (Oct. 26-28).

The team's depth helped fuel its success in the fall as sophomore Matt McCarty (No. 162) and junior Derek Ackerman (No. 215) finished among the top 225 individuals in the nation.

"Hayden, Matt, and Derek have been strong all 2017, not just the fall," Miller said.

In addition, the Broncos solidified their rotation with freshmen Zack Kaneshiro and Jack Avrit appearing in all four tournaments.

"We're four events into an 11-tournament season, so obviously there's a long way to go, and the guys are focused on trying to maintain this level," Miller said.

The WCC proved to be deep in the fall with five teams ranked among the top 60 by BYU was ranked No. 32, Saint Mary's 42nd, Pepperdine No. 49 and San Francisco 56th.

"We know that we are capable of beating all those teams, which we have done," Miller said. "And obviously the guys would like to win the conference. Since I've been here, we've not won it, the best has been second. But that is probably of lesser focus, quite honestly, than playing well and trying to keep our solid ranking going into regionals then playing well in the WCC tournament."

The Broncos kick off the spring on Jan. 29-30, at the Arizona Intercollegiate.

"We're in a good spot right now and looking forward to the spring," Miller said.

Connect with the Broncos on Social Media
• Athletics: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube
• Men's Golf: Twitter | Facebook

Men’s Golfer Earns WCC Honor
November 14, 2017 Men’s Golfer Earns WCC Honor