April 11, 2006
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - The Santa Clara University men's golf team finished their regular season Tuesday afternoon with a seventh-place effort at the Saint Mary's/Merrill Lynch Invitational at Poppy Hills Golf Course. Although the Broncos broke their run of eight-straight top-five finishes this year, they finished ahead of five conference rivals heading into next week's WCC Championships.
The conference championships will take place next Monday and Tuesday, April 17-18 in Copperopolis, Calif. Pepperdine is the reigning WCC champion.
SCU just missed a top-five finish Tuesday by a single stroke, as the final team score of 917was just one back of UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly, who tied for fifth at 916. Lamar University topped the 19-team field with a score of 891, edging runner-up Xavier by a stroke.
A stroke of bad luck kept the Broncos out of the top five, as a putt that was headed for the bottom of the cup was thwarted when another player in this particular foursome pulled the pin too hard, lifting the actual cup itself and blocking the ball from going in.
"Sometimes things just don't go your way in golf and strange things happen out there," said head coach Rob Miller of today's final round. "It was not one of our best showings, but we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot or anything in terms of our chances of qualifying for [NCAA West] Regionals."
Eric Lillibridge and Jong Yoon each finished tied for 11th with final scores of 225. John Colyar finished the tournament with a score of 232 while Michael Nicoletti carded a 236 and Tim Lynch a 244. Mike Miller, competing as an individual, finished with a score of 243.
"Jong kind of had a rough stretch yesterday afternoon, but other than that he was really solid for us," Miller said. "Eric was great out there as well and although some putts were not falling for him, I'm very pleased with his effort today."
The Broncos were the top WCC team in the field, beating five of their conference rivals, which should give them a psychological edge heading into next week's championships with a chance to qualify for the NCAA West Regionals on the line.
We need to go into the conference championships and play well, and if we do we will move on," Miller added. "It definitely bodes well for us that we were able to beat all those teams even when we weren't playing very well, but our guys know we're better than that and they are really looking forward to getting back on the horse next week at the WCC Championships."
Fresno State's Jason Anthony won a playoff for the individual title as he and Lamar's Oliver Bekker tied for the lead after 54 holes, each shooting a two-over 218 over the tournament's three rounds. John Streibich finished third, two strokes back.
Final Team Scores
1. Lamar - 299-295-297-891
2. Xavier - 298-295-299-892
3. Fresno State - 292-311-305-908
4. UT-Arlington - 306-296-307-909
5. UC Santa Barbara - 299-304-313-916
Cal Poly - 309-302-305-916
7. Santa Clara - 303-306-308-917
8. Loyola Marymount - 300-310-311-921
Saint Marys - 309-302-310-92110. Boise State - 302-299-321-922
11. San Francisco - 312-304-309-925
12. Weber State - 308-306-313-927
CS Northridge - 310-306-311-927
14. Idaho - 311-314-305-930
15. Portland - 311-318-318-947
16. UC Riverside - 319-316-313-948
17. St. Joseph's - 309-325-325-959
18. Sacramento State - 317-322-321-960
19. Gonzaga - 322-320-324-966