SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Freshman Brandon Bauman shot a 2-under par 68, leading UC Santa Barbara to a 285 in final round and a tie for fourth-place overall at the Big West Men's Golf Championship at the San Luis Obispo Country Club on Tuesday.
The Gauchos began the day in sixth-place and remained there until the final few holes before leap-frogging host Cal Poly and pulling into a tie with Long Beach State at 875 at the close of play. The Mustangs finished one shot back at 876. The 285 score in the final round not only tied for the low score of the day, but it equaled the lowest single round score of the tournament.
"I was really proud of our guys for the way we played today, and really the last two days," said UCSB head coach Steve Lass. "We had a tough first round but then responded with two good ones, which was impressive for such a young group."
Santa Barbara, which played with three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior, was in eighth-place with a 302 after Sunday's first round. On Monday, the Gauchos shot a 288 to move into sixth-place, setting the stage for their performance on Tuesday.
Bauman's final round 68 gave him a three-round score of 6-over par 216, tying him for sixth in the individual standings, easily his best result of the season. The team's lone senior, Hunter Robinson, was its second highest finisher as he carded a 13-over par 223 to finish 23rd.
Freshmen Zach Smith (14-over par 224, tied for 24th-place) and Willy Moffly (16-over par 226, tied for 28th-place) were also instrumental in the team's comeback. Moffly finished at even-par in the third round, joining Bauman as one of just six players to finish at or under par on the day. Smith's 2-under 68 in the second round on Monday helped UCSB make its first jump in the standings.
Mike Smith, a sophomore, struggled in the third round with an 84, but his first two rounds of 75 and 73 were solid. He finished at 22-over par and tied for 41st.
UC Irvine shot a final round 285 to finish at 860 and move past UC Davis (288 final round, 861 overall) and UC Riverside (296 final round, 871 overall) to win the team title. Cal Poly's Justin De Los Santos captured the individual title by shooting a 2-over par 212, one shot better then Pete Fernandez of UCI. Matt Seramin of UC Davis and Jacob Schulze of UCI each shot 4-over par to tie for fourth.