Fresh off a trip to Hawaii, the UCSB men’s golf team must now head down to Beaumont, Calif. March 3 and 4 to compete in the annual UC Riverside Braveheart Classic. The Gauchos look to build off their strong performance in Honolulu, where they took a competitive 11th place in a very strong field at the John A. Burns Intercollegiate Tournament.

In Hawaii, UCSB played very balanced golf throughout, with no players standing out as either exceptional or sub-par. Junior Tony Verna, sophomore Brian Hollenbeck and freshman Tyler Weir were all within one stroke of each other to claim the best Santa Barbara score. Weir ended up taking that honor with a tournament total of five strokes under par.

Rounding out the scorecard were sophomore Matt Grush and freshman Michael Casca, who shot one-over and seven-over, respectively. While the lineup is not set in stone, it would be surprising to see Head Coach Steve Lass switch things around too much.

UCSB can count on solid performances out of veterans Verna and Hollenbeck, but the play of Weir could prove to be the x-factor in this week’s tournament. As long as the Gauchos get consistent play across the board as they did in Hawaii, it is not a stretch to see them winning the tournament.

Last year’s Braveheart Classic saw a come-from-behind upset when Jacksonville University took down UCLA by nine strokes. UCSB did not compete.