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Jonathan De Los Reyes shot a college career low 65 today at the WCC Championships.
Jonathan De Los Reyes shot a college career low 65 today at the WCC Championships.
GOLF | Gaels Post Record-Setting Day At WCC Championships
Release: Monday 04/16/2012 
by SMC Athletics

HOLLISTER, Calif. -- Saint Mary's golfers occupy the top three spots in the individual standings and the Gaels bolted to a 14-stroke lead after the first round of the West Coast Conference Championships at San Juan Oaks Golf Club.

The Gaels registered a 14-under par 274 to lead second-place Gonzaga by 14 strokes.  The Bulldogs shot an even par 288 and are one stroke ahead of third-place San Francisco.  BYU is in fourth at 2-over.

The eight league teams - Portland does not sponsor men's golf - return to the 6,712-yard, par 72 course beginning at 8 a.m.  The Gaels are expected to tee-off beginning at 9:30 a.m. in pursuit of their first league title in program history - SMC has finished 2nd on three previous occasions.

"This golf course is pretty scoreable up to hole 12," said SMC Head Coach Scott Hardy.  "We didn't make many birdies on the first three holes but we really picked it up on four through 12.  That's when we built a lead.  That's what you have to do here, play those holes well and hold on in the back."

Saint Mary's, which entered the tournament as the favorite to win, was just two strokes off the school record for a single round and shot a program-low at the WCC Championships.  The Gaels' score was the best team performance since shooting 283 at the 2007 Hawai'i Fall Intercollegiate.

"We talked about the fact that we were picked by half the league coaches as the favorite to win," said Hardy.  "There is some pressure, I suppose, and having a lead does add to that.  Playing with a lead is the hardest thing to do in golf.  The thing is, there is no defense.  You play the golf course."

Freshman Jonathan De Los Reyes fired a 7-under par 65, his best collegiate round and the lowest-ever for a Gael at the league championships, and sits in first-place in the 40-man field. 

The Antioch, Calif. registered one of the highlights of the day on an eagle on the 523-yard, par 5 15th hole.  He reached the green in two, then drained a a 40-foot putt to move to 6-under for the day.  De Los Reyes then birdied hole 17 to finish at 7-under.

"It could be anybody on our team at the top of the leaderboard," said Hardy.  "It is good they got off to a good start.  Jonathan is coming off a thumb injury and he didn't play at Santa Barbara recently.  I know he's been working really hard on his game the last couple of weeks.  He went to that tournament at Santa Barbara but had to watch.  I know it was just killing him.  To shoot that score today was awesome.  He's such a good putter once he gets it going.  He can shoot a low score."

Senior Eric Grimberg and junior Ben Geyer tied for second-place with 3-under par 69s.  Grimberg, a Portland, Ore. native, shot a 1-under 35 on the front nine, then registered an eagle on the 536-yard, par 5 11th hole.  Following a bogey on 14, he rebounded with a birdie on 17.

Geyer, who finished a team-high 10th at last year's championships, birdied three of the first five holes on the front nine before suffering a bogey on the ninth hole.  The Arbuckle, Calif. native rebounded with birdies on 11 and 12.  He recorded his sixth birdie of the round on the 15, which was sandwiched in between bogeys on 14 and 16.

Senior Anders Engell shot a 1-under par 71 and sits in ninth place, while junior Mac McClung is tied for 31st with a 5-over par 77.

 

West Coast Conference Championships
San Juan Oaks Golf Club, Hollister, Calif.
1st Round Scores
Par 72, 6712 yards

Fin.  Team                             Total    Par
   1  Saint Mary's (CA)..............    274    -14
   2  Gonzaga........................    288      E
   3  San Francisco..................    289     +1
   4  BYU............................    290     +2
t  5  Pepperdine.....................    295     +7
t  5  Santa Clara....................    295     +7
   7  San Diego......................    297     +9
   8  Loyola Marymount...............    302    +14


Fin.  Player                Team                             Total    Par
   1  J. De Los Reyes...... Saint Mary's (CA)..............     65     -7
t  2  Ben Geyer............ Saint Mary's (CA)..............     69     -3
t  2  Eric Grimberg........ Saint Mary's (CA)..............     69     -3
   9  Anders Engell........ Saint Mary's (CA)..............     71     -1
t 31  Mac McClung.......... Saint Mary's (CA)..............     77     +5