SANTEE, Calif. – Santa Clara men's golf scored its best round of the West Coast Conference Championship with Wednesday's 3-under 285 to move into a third-place tie with BYU at 2-over 866. Pepperdine, the highest ranked team in the event at No. 33, ran away with the team title with an 838 total.
"We made up a little bit of ground today," head coach Rob Miller said. "But Pepperdine lit it up. I don't know what course they were playing on. They just had one of those tournaments where everything came together. The last time we played them, which was in the fall, we actually beat them."
Second-place was a battle between four teams ranked between No. 37 and No. 52 in the Golfstat.com poll. No. 52 Saint Mary's finished three shots better than No. 49 Santa Clara and No. 37 BYU to take runner-up honors.
"It was a close race for second," Miller added. "We're all fairly equal. Not a lot difference between Saint Mary's, BYU, USF and us. It could have gone any way for the four of us playing for second."
Junior Derek Ackerman had a strong day with a final-round 5-under 67 to help the Broncos cause. He birdied seven holes to finish the tournament with a team-best 13, and earned his second career top-10 finish by tying for ninth at 1-under 215.
"It was a good tournament for Derek," Miller said. "He's feeling it."
VIDEO | Led by top-15 showings from Shieh, Ackerman & McCarty @scugolf finished tied for 3rd in a deep @WCCSports Championships field that featured five teams, including the #SCUBroncos, ranked in the @Golfstat top 52. #StampedeTogether #WCCChamps pic.twitter.com/79h8QU5nWL— Santa Clara Broncos (@SCUBroncos) April 19, 2018
Senior Hayden Shieh carded a final-round 2-under 70 and played the last 36 holes at 3-under. He tied for ninth with Ackerman and four other golfers, but they were well off the pace of medalist Clay Feagler of Pepperdine, who ended at 202.
Sophomore Matt McCarty shot a final-round 74 to drop out of the top-10. He ended the tournament alone in 15th place at 1-over 217 for his eighth top-20 showing of the season.
Freshmen Jack Avrit and Zack Kaneshiro completed their first WCC Championship with respectable scores. Avrit's 75 put him in a tie for 26th at 6-over 222, while Kaneshiro carded a final-round 74 to finish at 8-over 224 and tied for 29th.
"Hayden and Matt were solid and the freshmen played well," Miller said. "Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the result."
The Broncos will turn their attention to the NCAA Regionals, which will get underway on May 14. Bids will be announced May 2.
Santa Clara Final Individual Results
|T9.||Hayden Shieh||74-71-70 = 215 (-1)|
|T9.||Derek Ackerman||75-73-67 = 215 (-1)|
|15.||Matt McCarty||70-73-74 = 217 (+1)|
|T26.||Jack Avrit||73-74-75 = 222 (+6)|
|T29.||Zack Kaneshiro||73-77-74 = 224 (+8)|