Gauchos Rally for Third Place Finish at OGIO-UCSB Invitational; Long Beach Claims Team Title

Paul Otte
Paul Otte

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Long Beach State won the team title and its top player, Xander Schauffele, birdied the 18th and final hole while second round leader Anders Engell of Saint Mary's bogeyed, giving Schauffele a one shot win at the 2012 OGIO-UC Santa Barbara Invitational, completed Tuesday at Sandpiper Golf Club in Santa Barbara.

Engell had broken a deadlock on the 17th hole when he birdied the par four and Schauffele shot even par, giving him a one-shot lead entering the final hole of the 54 hole tournament.  On the day, Schauffele shot a 4-under par 68 while Engell, who was 8-under par entering the day, shot 1-over par 73.

Long Beach State, which trailed Saint Mary's by three shots entering the final round, shot a 285 on Tuesday to finish nine shots ahead of the Gaels, 854-863. UCSB, which was tied for fifth after the first two rounds, had the second best team score in the final round and finished at 876, good for third place. The Gauchos were able to climb the standings despite playing with only four players.  

Michael Haeri, who had UCSB's best score in the first round, missed the last two rounds with leg cramps, forcing the Gauchos to play with just four players and not allowing them to throw their bottom scoring out of the final total.  Kei Kita shot a 3-under par 69 in the third round to finish at 1-under par 215 four the tournament, tying him with Long Beach's Kevin Lim and Raymond Ho for fourth.  Loyola Marymount's Brya Bergna was third at 3-under par 213.

Santa Barbara's Paul Otte carded a 1-under par 71 on Tuesday and finished at 1-over par 217, tying for ninth place.

Sacramento State and Loyola Marymount followed Long Beach State, Saint Mary's and UCSB in the final standings as they knotted in fourth at 884.  Southern Utah was sixth at 885.

The Gauchos will play their penultimate regular season tournament when they travel to the Wyoming Cowboy Classic at the Talking Stick Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 9-10.