The UCSB golf team, fresh off an eighth-place finish in the John Burns Invitational, will travel down to San Diego to participate in the Farms Invitational, hosted by the University of San Diego next week.
For Santa Barbara, senior Joe Ryon and sophomore Tony Verna led the Gauchos to their eighth-place finish in Hawaii, and will be participating in the Farms Invitational. Ryon finished five-under par 211, for a tie for 13th place. Verna finished three-under 213 for a tie for 21st place. As a team, the Gauchos collectively finished two-under par 862, and tied with Nevada for eighth place.
“[Ryon and Verna] both will have lots of confidence,” Head Coach Steve Lass said. “[Hawaii] was a very strong field, so it was a very good finish. There were out of 123 players, so it was a very good finish.”
Also heading to San Diego for the Gauchos is junior Marty Melcher and freshman Brian Hollenbeck. In Hawaii, Melcher finished two-over par 218, which is good for a tie for 44th place. Hollenbeck shot 10-over 226, and tied for 91st place. However, Hollenbeck is ranked fourth in the NCAA with a .784 greens in regulation average, meaning Hollenbeck hit the green 78.4 of the time, which represents how well Hollenbeck’s long game is. The fifth and final spot has yet to be determined.
“Marty Melcher had a pretty good tournament, finishing 44th and Brian Hollenbeck will also be playing,” Lass said. “He didn’t play at Hawaii very well, but he had an outstanding fall, so he will be going. We will be determining the final person at practice. We have a lot of guys vying for final spot in a team qualifying round.”
Fourteen teams will be participating in next week’s tournament down south, including UCSB. None of the teams are top-ranked teams. The Invitation will be held at the Rancho Santa Fe Farms golf course and is an 18-hole golf course, located at Rancho Santa Fe, in San Diego County.
“Even though there are no real top ranked teams, there [are] thirteen pretty strong teams,” Lass said. “[The Invitational] will be different [from Hawaii]. Even though we played a good round in Hawaii, this is a different course. It’s a tighter and narrower golf course. We have to be a little more precise with our shots. It’s a good thing that many of the courses we practice on are narrow and similar to this one. I expect us to do well down there. ”
The Farms Invitational will start on Monday, March 5, and will last all day, ending on Tuesday, March 6.