Smith Finishes 2nd as Gauchos are 4th at Jackrabbit Invitational

Zach Smith (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Zach Smith (Photo by Tony Mastres)

BOULDER CITY, Nev. - Senior Zach Smith was one of just two players to finish under par as he carded a 5-under par 203 to finish second at the Jackrabbit Invitational at the Boulder Creek Golf Club on Saturday. Smith's outstanding performance helped UC Santa Barbara to a fourth-place finish in a tournament with a 14-team field.

For Smith, a two-time Big West Golfer of the Month in 2018-19, it was his third top-five finish in the last three tournaments and his fourth overall this season. The second-place finish equaled his finish at the Bill Cullum Invitational which he achieved during the fall portion of the schedule. At the Jackrabbit Invite hosted by South Dakota State. Smith shot an even-par 72 in Saturday's final round after recording a 4-under 68 and 1-under 71 in Friday's first two rounds. He fiished eight shots back of James Madison's Nacho Montero who finished at 13-under par. The next closest competitor was Ben Tucker of JMU who finished 1-over par.

As a team, the Gauchos finished fourth with a 27-over par 891. They actually led the tournament champions JMU by four shots and stood in first-place after the first round, but the Dukes ultimately finished with a 1-over par 865, 24 shots ahead of second-place Texas State, 25 ahead of SIU Edwardsville and 26 ahead of UCSB.

Brett Bennett also had one of his best tournaments of the 2018-19 campaign as he tied for eighth with a 5-over par 221. Justin Sheparovich tied for 31st at 12-over par, while Brandon Bueno tied for 55th at 17-over and Tyler See was tied for 61st at 18-over par.

Santa Barbara returns to action on Mar. 25 and Mar. 26 when it travels to Cal Poly for match play. The tournament will be played at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in Arroyo Grande, Calif.