With the Big West Tournament just around the corner, the Gaucho golf team was hoping to gain some much-needed momentum at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. What they got was more of the same. UCSB finished in the middle of the pack yet again after two days of golf in the hot desert sun, placing 10th out of 20 competing schools.
While a 10th-place finish is by no means bad, the Gauchos had been hoping to get over the hump and have a strong showing in their last tournament before the conference finale.
“It was a lot like we’ve played all year,” Head Coach Steve Lass said. “It was just consistently pretty good golf.”
UCSB started off strong on Monday, totaling a first round 281, which was very much in contention with the leading squads. They dropped off a bit in round two with a 284, and at Monday’s end were in a respectable sixth place. Though Santa Barbara was hoping to get a third-round push to the top, the Gauchos unfortunately had their worst round of the tournament on Tuesday, scoring a 289. This left them with a tournament total of 854 – square in the middle of all contenders.
Sophomore Brian Hollenbeck carded the Gauchos best score with a total 211 through three rounds, which was good for the 25th best individual score. Freshman Michael Casca was not far behind, riding a strong third round 69 to a 214 finish. Senior Darren Schwartz, along with freshmen Scott Lewis and Tyler Weir rounded out the Gaucho scorecard with totals of 215, 217, and 218 respectively.
The Gauchos next will square off in the Big West Tournament April 21 and 22. The Big West Champion will earn a trip to the regional playoffs.
“We’re going to have to play a lot better to have a chance [in the conference tournament],” Lass said.