UCSB Rallies Back to Finish 4th in Big West Championship

Brett Bennett (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Brett Bennett (Photo by Tony Mastres)

LIHUE, Hawaii - Senior Zach Smith shot an even-par 216 to finish all alone in third-place and UC Santa Barbara climbed from seventh to fourth in the final round at the Big West Conferencd Golf Championships on Tuesday.

The Gauchos began the final round in seventh, but carded a 295 to finish at 28-over par for the tournament, three shots ahead of the host Hawaii and four shots up on Long Beach State and Cal State Northridge. 

Smith, who fired a 4-under par in the first round of the tourney and an 2-over 74 in the second round, finished his tournament with another 2-over par to finish at even par and in third-place all alone. Smith finished one shot back of Thomas Hutchison of UC Davis, who logged a 1-under par 215. Cal State Fullerton's Matt Wilson won individual medalist honors with a 5-under par 211.

As a team, Fullerton finished at 12-over par, eight shots better than UC Irvine, 10 better than UC Davis and 16 ahead of UCSB.

Another Gaucho, junior Brett Bennett also finished among the top-20. He carded an even-par 72 in the final round to complete the tournament with a 6-over par 222, tying for 12th.

Brandon Jacobs and Brandon Bueno each finished at 11-over par 227, tying for 22nd in the final individual standings. Justin Sheparovich clocked in at 18-over par 234 to finish alone in 38th-place.

Fullerton won the title at 12-over par, 8 shots ahead of Irvine, 10 up on Davis and 16 over the Gauchos. The host Hawaii was fifth, 19 back of the team champion.

Matt Wilson Thomas ran away with the individual title at 5-under par, four shots ahaed of Davis' Hutchison and five up on UCSB's Smith.

Zach Smith will, almost undoubtedly, receive an invitation compete in an NCAA Regional as an individual. The selections will be made in the next week.