SANTA CLARA, Calif. - With a berth in the NCAAs on the line, Santa Clara men's golf heads to the West Coast Conference Championships in Stockton, California.
The Broncos will tee it up, along with eight other schools, in the three-day event that kicks off Thursday at the 7,315-yard, par-72 Reserve at Spanos Park. The champion earns an automatic bid to next month's NCAA Championships.
Pepperdine is the only conference team the Broncos haven't beaten in a tournament this season and the Waves enter as the highest ranked team in the field at No. 18, according to the recent Golfstat.com poll. The Waves have finished first or second in 25 of the last 32 playings and have a conference-best 19 titles.
Ranked No. 83, the Broncos are one of five top-100 teams competing in Stockton. BYU (30), Saint Mary's (55) and San Francisco (69) are the others.
VIDEO | Head coach Rob Miller previews the @WCCsports Championships, which will be held at @TheReserveGolf in @Stockton_CA. The team has three top 5 finishes this spring and won an event last season on the course. #StampedeTogether #WCCchamps pic.twitter.com/Ndyt2MKZ1P— Santa Clara Men's Golf (@SCUgolf) April 25, 2019
"We've beaten everybody in the field except Pepperdine," head coach Rob Miller said. "We beat the top teams at Stanford and were one shot behind Pepperdine, so the guys know they can compete."
The Broncos are coming off a rain-shortened 11th-place finish at the Boilermaker Invitational and will need their lineup of Derek Ackerman, Matt McCarty, Konrad Brauckmeyer, Jack Avrit and Berk Harvey to be at their best.
McCarty tops the squad with a 71.18 stroke average with Ackerman next at 73.03.
"The question is which Derek and Matt show up," Miller said about his top two players. "We need good performances from them to compete. They can't play the way they did the last two tournaments or we have no chance."
One of Santa Clara's three team titles last year was at this layout when the squad finished 30-under at the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational. Three players pegging it up on Thursday were part of that team with McCarty, Ackerman and Avrit all earning a top-20 finish.
"We had a great tournament here last year," Miller said. "In general we've always played well here in Stockton. We have the right group for this course and time."
Opening round tee times begin at 7:30 a.m., with Broncos beginning play at 9:20 a.m.
Follow scoring through Golfstat.com.
Name: WCC Championship
Dates (Site): Thursday-Saturday, April 25-27 (Stockton, Calif.)
Host: West Coast Conference
Tournament Field (Rank): BYU (30), Gonzaga (177), Loyola Marymount (120), Pacific (151), Pepperdine (18), Saint Mary's (55), San Diego (209), San Francisco (69), Santa Clara (83)
Details: The field will play a single 18-hole round over each of the three days with a tee time start beginning play. A total of 54 holes will be played with the low four of five scores counted each round for the team total.
Course: The Reserve at Spanos Park
Yardage/Par: 7,315 yards / Par 72
Course Website: www.reserveatspanospark.com
Live Scoring: Golfstat.com