Battling a challenging course and blistering heat, the UCSB golf team struggled to a sixth place finish in the Big West Tournament.
“Golf is that way, some days you have a good round and some days you don’t,” Head Coach Steve Lass said. “Unfortunately we had quite a few guys not have good rounds, so it turned out disappointing, to say the least.”
Sophomore Glen Scher tied for 19th overall to lead UCSB with a final score of 230 over three days. The Gauchos shot a total of 921, well back of first-place UC Davis’ 871. It was the Aggies’ second league title in three years.
“The thing about these kids is that one bad tournament doesn’t really affect them terribly,” Lass said.
“They understand the game, they always try again, and that’s one of the things that kept us going.”
Pacific finished second in the tournament followed by Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly and UC Irvine. Rounding out the bottom behind the Gauchos were Long Beach, Fullerton and UC Riverside.
Senior Tyler Weir shot a 232 overall to tie for 22nd, while freshman Paul Otte capped day three for the Gauchos with a team-best 74. Otte finished in 27th place with a final score of 234.
“The performance unfortunately was pretty disappointing for everybody,” Lass said. “Our freshman, Paul, actually played a couple of pretty good rounds for us and that was the highlight for us.”
Finishing fourth for the Gauchos was senior Scott Lewis with a score of 235. Lewis recorded the lowest one-round score of any Gaucho when he registered a one-under par 71 on day two of the tournament.
“It’s just unfortunate that we didn’t play well in this tournament,” Lass said. “The conference tournament is one you really want to do well in. It’s not that we didn’t have the talent, things just didn’t fall into place.”
Rounding out the day for UCSB was senior Andrew Gunson with a 237. Gunson, who held the second-best average per round during the season for UCSB, finished in 35th.
“I started to play well towards the end of the year and it’s really disappointing for me to finish like this,” Gunson said. “I expected to do well and that didn’t happen.”
Senior Austin Graham placed first in the tournament for Davis with a final score of 210. He finished six under, one of just two players below par to go along with Northridge senior Nick Delio’s second-place score of 214.
“Davis is a good team,” Gunson said. “I think we can and should be competing with them, but they are good.”
With the sixth place finish, the Gauchos season comes to a disappointing end, but UCSB will return with Scher and Otte to go along with three other juniors and a strong recruiting class of transfers and first-years.
“We are losing quite a few seniors so experience is the one thing we can’t replace,” Lass said. “We are looking forward to everyone coming back next year and the replacements look good.”