Gauchos Win PRO Compression Invite, Claim 2nd Tournament Title of Season

The 2017 PRO Compression Invitational Champion UCSB Gauchos. (Photo courtesy of the University of San Diego)
The 2017 PRO Compression Invitational Champion UCSB Gauchos. (Photo courtesy of the University of San Diego)

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. - The UC Santa Barbara golf team finished with a 12-under par 852 to win the PRO Compression Invitational at The Farms Golf Club in Rancho Santa Fe on Tuesday. The tournament win was the Gauchos' second of the year.

"We had really great playing for two and a half rounds on the most difficult course we will play all year," said UCSB head coach Steve Lass. "We struggled over the final nine holes but still hung on to win easily."

The Gauchos led second-place Wichita State by 18 shots entering the third and final round on Tuesday and, ultimately, defeated the Shockers by nine shots. WSU was the only other team to finish below par as they carded a 3-under 861. Cal Poly was third with an 11-over par 875 and UC Irvine was fourth at 18-over.

UCSB was led by junior Zach Smith and freshman Brett Bennett who tied for third with matching 6-under par 210s. Smith actually entered the final round in the lead at 10-under par but shot a 4-over 76 over the final 18. Bennett was 6-under entering the round and shot an even-par 72 on Tuesday.

Junior Willy Moffly gave the Gauchos three of the top five finishers in the tournament as he finished fifth with a 4-under par 212.

"This was another good tournament individually for us," Lass said. "With two third-places and a fifth-place we were very impressive."

Junior Brandon Bauman gave Santa Barbara a fourth player among the top-15 as he finished with a 4-over par 220 to tie for 15th. 

"We skipped this tournament the last two years because of the difficulty of the course," Lass said. "But I thought this team could handle it and they certainly did."

Yannick Emmert was the individual medalist as he carded a 13-under par 203 to defeat Sacramento State's Aaron Beverly by five shots. Smith and Bennett were seven shots back and Moffly was nine back.

The tournament victory was the second of the year for the Gauchos. In the fall, they shot a 31-under par 833 to defeat UC Irvine by 16 shots at the Bill Cullum Invitational. In addition, UCSB had a second-place finish at the Folino Invitational in January.