Sophomore Nick Swanson sank a short par putt on the last hole to give UC Santa Barbara a one-stroke victory over Cal State Northridge in the Big West Conference Championships at Sandpiper Golf Course in Santa Barbara, where Felix Mory of Northridge claimed the individual title.
The Gauchos captured their first conference title since 1998 by carding a score of 282-279-291–852. 12-under-par, while Cal State Northridge finished second at 284-285-284–853, followed by Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo at 282-285-288–855, Long Beach State at 282-287-292–861 and UC Davis at 292-291-285–868.
“I am so happy that this group was able to give UCSB its first Big West golf championship in almost 20 years,” Coach Steve Lass said. “This has been a great year either way, but winning the conference is fitting and makes it even better.
“Once again, we had good balance and that was huge for us. … It will be exciting to go back to an NCAA Regional. This will be the fourth time I’ve taken a team, but it’s been a long time (1999) and I really look forward to this group getting that experience.”
Said Swanson: “I didn’t have any idea what our situation was. I didn’t realize that we only had a one-shot lead when I was putting for birdie on the 18th, and I’m glad I didn’t know. Now, I’m just happy that I saved par.”
UC Irvine was sixth at 292-289-289–870, followed by Cal State Fullerton at 300-280-291–871, UC Riverside at 288-300-297–885 and Hawaii at 301-292-301–894.
Mory, a junior from France, shot 68-68-70–206 to win the individual title by four strokes over Joe Fryer of Long Beach State, who totaled 71-66-73–210, while Nick Swanson of UC Santa Barbara was third at 69-69-73–211, followed by Zach Smith of UC Santa Barbara at 71-69-72–212.
Ben Corfee of UC Davis posted a score of 70-72-71–213 to tie for fifth with Grady Smith of Cal Poly, who finished at 73-69-71–213, while Jimmy Castles of Cal Poly was seventh at 69-73-72–214.
Matt Wilson of Cal State Fullerton shot 72-71-72–215 to tie for eighth with David Kim of UC Irvine, who wound up at 74-71-70–215, Cole Nygren of Cal Poly, who finished at
69-72-74–215, Jesse Yap of Cal Poly, who totaled 73-71-71–215, Tomas Skajem of Cal State Northridge, who recorded a score of 71-75-69–215, Andres Gonzalez of Long Beach State, who posted a score of 71-71-73–215, and Nicolas Noya of UC Davis, who came in at 72-72-71–215.
Andrew Spilman led UC Riverside in a tie for 21st at 71-77-70–218.
Rounding out the scoring for team champion UC Santa Barbara were Brandon Bauman in a tie for 15th at 70-69-77–216, Brett Bennett in a tie for 17th at 72-72-73–217, and Willy Moffly in a tie for 26th at 74-73-73–220.