After a four-month hiatus, the UCSB men’s golf team tied Nevada for eighth place at the John Burns Intercollegiate tournament in Honolulu, Hawaii last week. The team shot an incredible 280 in the third and final round to finish two under par with a score of 862 out of a field of 21 teams.
“I was very pleased with how they played. After a long break, they performed very well and we have a tournament next week, so I want to see how well we do with a week’s worth of rest,” Head Coach Steve Lass said. “They played great in the final round and hopefully we can keep it up.”
The Gauchos recorded the second-best score in the last round of play, coming in under Brigham Young which won the tournament with a final score of 834, 30 under par, and shot 270 in the final round. The Gaucho men fought their way to eighth, overcoming a six-shot deficit to tie Nevada-Las Vegas and surpass Southern Methodist, Long Beach State, Cal and Denver in the process. UCSB finished 28 shots behind BYU and 20 above second-place UNLV.
Senior Joe Ryon hit a three-under-par 69 in the final round to lead UCSB into a solid attack. Ryon finished five under par at 211 in the tournament, securing a tie for 13th place. Sophomore Tony Verna shot a four-under-par 68 in the final round and finished three under at 213 to grab a tie for 21st place.
Junior Marty Melcher finished in a tie for 44th place with two over par. Freshman Brian Hollenbeck shot a 10-over-par score of 226 to place 91st and junior Ryan Keefe shot 14 over to claim 105th place.
UCSB’s last tournament was at the Pacific Invitational at the Brookside Country Club on Nov. 8, where the Gauchos placed third overall by shooting 12 under par at 852. BYU claimed first with 36 under par, followed by Charlotte at 23 under. The Gauchos showed strength and power in Honolulu, despite their long absence from the courses, making it clear that UCSB is ready for action.
“I’m looking for them to get a better start,” Lass said. “All of our guys are capable of doing well and no one puts too much pressure on themselves, so I’m confident we will do well.”
The Gauchos will hit the links again on March 5 when they travel to Torero territory for the Farms Invitational, hosted by the University of San Diego at the Pauma Valley Country Club.