Sept. 7, 2007
This Week In Men's Golf
The Saint Mary's golf team will open the 2007-08 season with the Saint Mary's Invitational on Monday and Tuesday, September 10-11, 2007 at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA. Poppy Hills Golf Course is a par-72, 6,833-yard championship layout located in Pebble Beach, CA. The course rating is 74.2, the slope is 144, and the course record of 62 was shot by Matt Gogel.
The 54-hole medal play tournament will be played over two days with an overall team and an individual champion awarded. Teams will play 36 holes on Monday and the final 18 holes will be played on Tuesday. Play will begin at 8:00 am (PST) on Monday with a shotgun start. Tuesday's rounds will begin with tee times starting on both the 1st and 10th holes.
The tournament will have a field of 95 players from 18 schools. There are eight conferences represented which include teams from the West Coast Conference (Saint Mary's, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Loyola Marymount), the Big 12 Conference (Baylor, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska), the Big 10 Conference (Wisconsin), the Western Athletic Conference (Nevada and San Jose State), the Big West Conference (Long Beach St.), and Conference-USA (Houston, Memphis, and UAB), the Mid-American Conference (Eastern Michigan and Miami (OH)), and the Southland Conference (Texas-Arlington).
Results will be posted at the end of each day on www.SMCGaels.com and will be available at www.Golfstat.com.
Under seventh-year head coach Scott Hardy, Saint Mary's will host its second Saint Mary's Invitational at Poppy Hills. Saint Mary's last hosted the Saint Mary's Invitational in April of 2006. Lamar won the team title by one shot over Xavier with a 54-hole score of 891 (+27). The individual title was shared between Jason Anthony of Fresno State and Oliver Bekker of Lamar with a score of 218 (+2).
About the Poppy Hills GC
Since 1991, Poppy Hills Golf Course has been one of the three courses played in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The 1991 NCAA Men's Golf Championships was hosted at Poppy Hills GC, as well as the 1998 WAC Women's Golf Championship and the 1999 WAC Men's Championships. Poppy Hills is also the home for the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA).
About the Gaels
Saint Mary's enters this season with nine returning players and just one newcomer to the roster. Saint Mary's returns all five starters from last season, in addition to returning two-time All-West Coast Confeerence selection Chadd Cocco. Cocco redshirted the 2006-07 season and will teturn to the Gaels' line-up after a strong year in amateur competitions. Cooco won the prestigious San Francisco City Championship in the summer of 2007.
In addition to the return of Cocco, the Gaels welcome back 2007 First Team All-WCC selections Mike McRae and Robert McRae. Mike McRae is coming off a 2006-07 campaign that saw the junior shot a team-best 72.3 stroke average. And advanced to the NCAA West Regional. Robert McRae posted a Saint Mary's freshmen record stroke average of 74.1 and competed in all 11 events in 2006-07.
In addition to the McRae's, SMC will have returning starters senior Josh Kelley and sophomore Daniel Cone returning. Kelley has played in every Saint Mary's competition since joining the team in 2003. In 33 reounds last year, Kelley had a 73.6 stroke average, which was second on the team. As a freshman in 2006-07, Cone cracked the starting line-up eight times, and finished the year with a 74.6 stroke average. Cone posted the lowest round of the year by a Gael, shooting a final round 6-under 66 at the USF Triuimph at Pauma Valley.
The Next Event
Following the conclusion of the Saint Mary's Invitational, the men's golf team will three weeks off before returning to action. The next tournament for the Gaels is the Xavier Fall Invitational which is scheduled for Monday and Tuesdeay, October 1-2. The 54-hole tournament will be played at The Oasis Golf Club in Loveland, Ohio.