Zach Smith Named Big West Golf Athlete of the Month

Zach Smith (Photo by Steve Chen)
Zach Smith (Photo by Steve Chen)

UC Santa Barbara junior Zach Smith (Pleasanton, Calif./Amador Valley HS) parlayed two top-five individual finishes into back-to-back tournament team titles, as he captured Big West Men's Golfer of the Month honors for April. 

It was his second honor this season as he also was recognized in February. 

"Zach is playing really well right now and it has been contagious as we're playing well as a team," said head coach Steve Lass. "One of the most impressive things has been his consistency as he has been at or under par in six straight rounds."

Smith secured his first career tournament victory at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic in Chandler, Ariz.  He shot a 10-under-par 206 at the Whirlwind Golf Club.  Smith sank about an 8-foot putt on the 18th hole for a final round 67, giving him a one-shot advantage over Sacramento State's Aaron Beverly.  Smith carded rounds of 71 and 68 over the first 36 holes.  His 67 in the final round was the second-lowest next to teammate Brandon Bauman's 6-under par 66. 

Smith helped the Gauchos record their third tournament title of 2016-17, as they won by 11 strokes in the 18-team field.

UCSB tallied its fourth tournament title at the Cal Poly Shootout in Arroyo Grande, Calif.  The four titles are the most in school history.  It also represented the first time the school won back-to-back tournament titles.  Smith led the way once again, tying for fourth place with an aggregate 5-under-par 211 at the Cypress Ridge Golf Course. 

He carded rounds of 69, 72 and 70 – and has shot at or under par in six straight rounds entering the Big West Tournament.  His performance helped UCSB coast to a comfortable 24-shot victory over second-place UC Irvine.  UCSB shot 22-under-par to lead wire-to-wire in the tournament.  Teams played in a "play six, count five" format as opposed to the standard "play five, count four" format.