The Gaucho men’s golf squad recovered from a poor start to take third place in the UC Riverside Braveheart Classic on Tuesday. After shooting a 320 on Monday, good for a share of eighth place, the Gauchos went on to shoot 300 and 290 in the subsequent Tuesday rounds. Their final total of 910 was just 10 strokes shy of winner Cal Poly’s and only two strokes behind the host, UC Riverside.
Leading the way for Santa Barbara were sophomores Matt Grush and Brian Hollenbeck, who each recorded total scores of 223, despite playing in brutal conditions. Junior Tony Verna scored a 231, freshman Tyler Weir recorded a 238 and senior Phil Horwith rounded out the Gaucho lineup with a 243. A combination of high winds and firm greens made the going tough, but the Gauchos stepped up the level of play on Tuesday.
“We came back strong,” Grush said. “It really shows the resiliency of this team. We were just trying to grind it out through the arduous conditions.”
With three Big West teams finishing atop the leader board over the likes of higher ranked Texas Christian University and Kansas State, it was a good tournament for the conference as a whole.
“I hate to lose to our conference rivals,” Head Coach Steve Lass said, “but on any given day, any of us can play great golf.”