SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara men's golf team will compete in its final tournament of the fall season when they tee off at the SCVB Pacific Invitational on Thursday. The three-day, 54-hole event will be played at the 6,511-yard, par-71 Stockton Golf & Country Club.
This figures to be a tightly contested event with all 12 teams ranked between No. 43 (BYU) and No. 140 (Pacific) in the most recent Golfweek.com rankings. UC Davis (50), Charlotte (89) and Saint Mary's (89), along with BYU all rank in the top 100. Santa Clara was ranked 131st.
The Broncos have been off from tournament competition since they claimed 13th place at the 16-team Alister MacKenzie Invitational on Oct. 14 when sophomore Carlos Briones earned his first top-10 finish by carding three sub-par rounds. He completed the event with a 5-under-par 211 and tied for 10th.
"This was by far his best performance as a collegian and the first time he's had a finish like that in a field like that. He's trying to establish himself as an elite player," head coach Rob Miller said about Briones' play at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational. That event featured 11 of the 16 competing squads ranked in the top-100 of the Golfweek.com rankings with four in the top-50.
Through their first four fall tournaments the Broncos have registered a fourth, sixth and eighth place finish and have accumulated nearly as many sub-300 round scores (10) as they did all of last season (11).
Aided by his team-high four below-par scores in nine rounds this season, Briones paces the team with a 72.44 stroke average and is one of three players averaging below 74 strokes per round. Sophomore Drew Miller (73.44) and senior Bobby Monaco (73.78) are the others. All seven players who have competed are below 75 and the team average is 74.10.
A pair of first-year players have contributed heavily to the team's success this fall with Tyler Kertson and Evan McLeod playing in all four tournaments. Kertson has the highest individual finish for a Bronco player this season with a 3rd place tie at the Cabo del Sol Intercollegiate on Oct. 8.
"We don't have a true No. 1 player," Miller noted. "Any one of the seven players can lead this team at any tournament."
Thursday's first round will tee off at 8:00 a.m. (PDT) from the first and 10th holes with threesomes going at 10-minute intervals. Santa Clara will be in the first grouping at the first hole and is teamed with players from Long Beach State and Army.
Name: SCVB Pacific Invitational
Dates (Site): Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 (Stockton, Calif.)
Host: University of the Pacific
Field * (12 teams): Army (119), BYU (43), Charlotte (58), Denver (127), Fresno State (111), Kansas State (103), Long Beach State (122), Nevada (104), Pacific (140), Santa Clara (131), St. Mary's (89), UC Davis (50).
Details: One round of 18 holes will be played each day for a 54-hole total. Tee times will begin at 8:00 a.m. (PDT) each day beginning off both the 1st and 10th tees. Groups will tee off in 10 minute intervals.
Course: Stockton Golf & Country Club
Yardage / Par: 6,511 yards / Par 71
Course Website: www.stocktongolfcc.com
Course Address: 3800 W. Country Club Blvd., Stockton, CA 95204
Course Number: (209) 466-4313
Tournament Website: www.pacificinvitational.com
Live Stats: www.golfstatresults.com
*Rankings from Golfweek.com (10/28/13)