After two rounds of its home tournament had been completed, the UCSB golf team stood in a promising second place. However, a disappointing performance on Tuesday knocked the Gauchos into a fourth-place finish. This placed them behind Boise State, and conference foes Cal Poly and Cal State Northridge. The Matadors were the tournament’s champions with a score of 855 – 32 better than UCSB and 20 better than their nearest competitor.
Sophomore Brian Hollenbeck led the way for Santa Barbara, tallying a total score of 218. Following him were freshmen Scott Lewis and Tyler Weir, who carded scores of 220 and 223, respectively. Sophomore Matt Grush and junior Tony Verna rounded out the Gaucho starters, with a 227 and a 233, respectively. While a fourth-place finish out of twelve teams would normally not have been something to scoff at, the team was not satisfied.
“We did not play well as a team,” Head Coach Steve Lass said. “And nobody played particularly well individually today.”
While none of the starters for UCSB cracked the top-10 individually, freshman Michael Casca scored a 215 playing as an individual, good for 5th place overall. This was also the second best independent performance of the tournament. However, the tournament’s true star was Boise State’s Troy Merritt, who tied the tournament record by shooting a 199.
The Gauchos hit the road next, heading to Scottsdale, Ariz., for an April 7-8 tournament hosted by the University of Wyoming. This will be their last event before the Big West tournament.
“We’re hoping to build some momentum going into [the conference tournament],” Hollenbeck said. “That’s what we’re after: to win conference and make regionals.”