Gauchos Complete Outstanding Season, Finish 11th at NCAA Stanford Regional

Nick Swanson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)
Nick Swanson (Photo by Eric Isaacs)

STANFORD, Calif. - UC Santa Barbara shot an 8-over par 288 on Wednesday, its best round at the 2017 Stanford Regional, to finish in 11th-place with a final total score of 874.

The Gauchos carded a 34-over for the tournament, 14 shots better than 12th-place Sacramento State and 25 better than South Dakota State. They finished seven shots behind 10th-place Ohio State and eight back of Ohio State. 

Freshman Brett Bennett and junior Zach Smith each shot a 1-over par 71 in the final round to lead UCSB. Nick Swanson finished with a 2-over par 72. Swanson and Bennett each finished with a 5-over 215 to tie for 33rd-place in the field of 75. Smith recorded a 9-over 219 to tie for 54th, while Brandon Bauman was tied for 65th at 16-over par and Willy Moffly tied for 68th at 17-over.

Stanford and Baylor tied for the regional title at 17-under par, 12 shots ahead of Pepperdine. That trio of schools will be joined by Oklahoma (-3) and North Carolina (+3) in advancing to the NCAA Championship

Oklahoma's Brad Dalke carded a 12-under par 198 to win medalist honors at the regional. Cooper Dossey of Baylor was second at 9-under and Stanford's Maverick McNealy was third at 8-under. Sahith Theegala of Pepperdine tied with Franklin Huang and Brandon Wu of Stanford for fourth-place at 4-under par.

The 11th-place finish at the Stanford Regional completes one of the finest seasons in UCSB golf history. The Gauchos won a school record five tournament championships, including a record three in a row to end the regular season. They won their first Big West Conference championship since 1998 and advanced to the postseason for the first time since 1999.

Following the regular season, Smith, Bauman and Bennett were all selected First Team All-Big West, Brett Bennett was named the league's Freshman of the Year, and Steve Lass was named Big West Coach of the Year. Finally, impressively, UCSB didn't have a senior among its top-six players, all of whom could return in 2017-18.