Fore! The UCSB golf team saw their first action in three months as they came from behind to tie for third place at the Anteater Invitational last weekend.
After a slow start on day one of the tournament, the Gauchos were trailing Northridge by five strokes. However, they rebounded on day two to shoot a collective 287 to tie for third place. No team, including the Matadors, expected UCSB to catch up.
After trailing Santa Clara by 14 strokes entering the third round, the tournament host Irvine surprisingly won the invitational. The teams entered a play-off hole with Santa Clara, where all five players participated.
The highlight of the tournament for UCSB was the 10th overall finish by freshman Glen Scher. Scher shot a 214, only one stroke over par. The freshman was the highest finisher for UCSB. Fellow Gaucho senior Brian Hollenbeck was particularly impressed by the freshman’s result.
“Just getting in the lineup is awesome for a freshman,” Hollenbeck said. “But to contribute is even better.”
Junior Andrew Gunson also gave out props to Scher.
“It’s really exciting to see young blood performing well,” Gunson said.
Hollenbeck finished one stroke behind Scher for 12th place overall, while Gunson finished with 216 strokes, good enough for 14th place overall.
While they had an impressive showing, Santa Barbara fell short of winning the tournament.
“We realized work needs to be done,” junior Tyler Weir said. “We need to be more consistent as a team.”
However, with the third place finish, Santa Barbara saw the invitational as an overall positive experience.
“It was solid for us,” Hollenbeck said. “We definitely want to build on it.”
Gunson agreed, saying this tournament could help them down the line for the rest of the season.
“We’re making small steps toward where we want to be,” the junior said.
Where the Gauchos want to be is hoisting up the Big West Championship trophy at the end of the year, a pretty lofty goal after they finished in last place for the 2008-09 season. However, UCSB is confident in their ability to turn it around.
“We never clicked last year,” Gunson said. “But this year, we have the potential to be a real good team.”