Smith, Bennett Selected to All-Big West Golf Squads

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

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara senior Zach Smith was named First Team All-Big West and junior Brett Bennett was chosen to the second team, the league announced.

Smith, who is ranked 124th among all NCAA Division I golfers and is currently playing at the NCAA Pullman Regional as an individual, is one of just two Gauchos to play all 30 rounds during the 2018-19 season. In his 10 tournaments, he has posted a stroke average of 71.17, more than a stroke and a half better than his next closest teammate. Smith has six of the team's seven top-five finishes this season. He finished under par in seven of his 10 tournaments and at par in an eighth. The native of Pleasanton, Calif., has shot 18 rounds under par and another three at par. Of his 18 rounds under par, eight have been under 70 and he carded a season-best 6-under par 66 twice, once each at the John Burns Intercollegiate and then again at the UC Santa Barbara Collegiate.

Smith is a two-time Big West Conference Golfer of the Month, having earned the honor in October and February. He enters postseason with a won-loss record of 670-128-16. The first team honor is the third for the Pleasanton, Calif., native. He was also named First Team All-Big West in 2016-17 and 2015-16. As a freshman in 2014-15, Smith was named the conference's Freshman of the Year and second team all-league. 

Bennett also competed in all 30 rounds for the Gauchos in 2018-19. He finished the season with a stroke average of 72.70 and a won-loss record of 527-258-5. Bennett garnered four top-10 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at the Visit Stockton Pacific Invitational when he shot a season-best 8-under par 205.. In all, he had 14 rounds at or under par and four rounds under 70. Bennett's best round of the season was in the third round at the Nick Watney Invitational when he carded a 7-under par 65. It is the third time that the Huntington Beach, Calif., native has earned All-Big West honors. He was a first-teamer in 2017-18 and a second-teamer in 2016-17 when he was also named the league's Freshman of the Year.