VALENTINE, Neb. – Senior Hayden Shieh drained a 4-foot putt on the final hole to secure his third career individual title and Santa Clara men's golf withstood a late challenge from Tennessee to hang on for the team title at The Jackrabbit.
After building a 10-shot lead with a 265, one of the best 18-hole scores in school history, in the first round, the Broncos held on to capture their first team title since winning the Arizona NIT during the 2015-16 season. Santa Clara scored a final-round 3-under 285 to finish at 39-under 825, three shots better than the Volunteers.
"We had a nail-biter at the end," head coach Rob Miller explained. "Everybody contributed and was productive and it's nice to start the season with a win."
Shieh scored a final round 2-under 70 and led from wire-to-wire. His putt on the final hole gave him a tournament total 15-under 201, one-stroke better than Rhys Neven-Wharton of Tennessee.
"I was nervous lining it up," Shieh said of his final putt. "But I remembered back to all the practice time putting up hill and sank it."
Shieh claimed his third outright individual title and first since winning the Cabo Del Sol Intercollegiate in 2015. He tied for the title at last year's WCC Championship but lost in a playoff.
Shieh got plenty of help from his teammates. Sophomore Matt McCarty tied for sixth-place at 10-under 206. He scored a final-round even-par 72 after bogeying the final two holes, but earned his second career top-10 finish. McCarty scored a personal-best 7-under 65 in Sunday's first-round to help stake the Broncos to a big early lead.
Freshman Zack Kaneshiro carded a 1-over 73 on Tuesday to finish tied for 37th at 1-under 215. Playing as an individual, freshman Berk Harvey shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday to finish tied for 51st at 1-over 217.
"There were a number of good teams in the field and this victory gives us confidence that we can play with anybody," Miller said.
It's a short turnaround for the squad as they are back in action October 9 competing in the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, hosted by Cal at the Meadow Club in Fairfax, Calif.
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
1. Hayden Shieh 64-67-70 = 201 (-15)
T6. Matt McCarty 65-69-72 = 206 (-10)
T25. Jack Avrit 67-70-75 = 212 (-4)
T25. Derek Ackerman 69-73-70 = 212 (-4)
T37. Zack Kaneshiro 73-69-73 = 215 (-1)
T51. Berk Harvey* 69-76-72 = 217 (+1)
*Competed as an individual