The UCSB men’s golf team finished a disappointing 16th in an 18-squad field at The Prestige at PGA West Tuesday to conclude its fall schedule. The Gauchos never really got their strokes going on the tough course at La Quinta Mountain, posting a final round total of 308 en route to a final round score of 58-over-par for a 54-hole total of 922.
Texas Christian University, ranked seventh nationally, was the only team to finish under par at 11-under, blowing away the rest of the competition in a wire-to-wire victory. University of California, Irvine finished second with a score of 4-over-par.
Junior clubber Joey Ramos led the Gauchos, posting a 10-over, good for a tie for 45th place, 19 shots out of the individual pace set by Chris Marshall of Kansas. It was a homecoming of sorts for Ramos, who attended nearby Palm Desert High School. Unfortunately, Santa Barbara just couldn’t get it done at a course that punishes any mistake.
UCSB Head Coach Steve Lass felt the team’s finish involved a series of mental mistakes rather than a tough course.
“[La Quinta] is a golf course where if you hit errant shots and you don’t make the intelligent play from those shots, you can end up making big numbers like 8 or 11,” Lass said. “If you play smart, you won’t put up big numbers like that.”
Senior Jeff Linklater agreed with his coach.
“The greens are hard, which makes it tough to keep the ball on,” he said. “There are holes with rocks on the one side and water on the other. But it’s definitely playable.”
Jeff and his twin brother Scott finished at 21-over and 22-over, respectively.
“We ended each round on a bad note and finished much worse than we should have. But we’re learning from our mistakes and we’ll only get better,” sophomore Greg Wells said.
Wells fired a 17-over, tying him for second place individually on the team with promising freshman Jeff Ditullio.
UCSB now has to wait until February when spring competition begins.
Jeff Linklater, whose best play came during the spring of last season, remains optimistic for the Gauchos.
“All of our players are determined to have a good spring,” he said. “We’ll stick to the same game plan. We’re going to work hard in the off-season and prepare for this [spring] season like any other year.”