April 21, 2009

Gauchos Finish Eighth at Big West Championships

April 21, 2009

SAN LUIS OBISPO-Calif. - Tyler Weir shot a 2-over 218 but did not go low enough to help the UC Santa Barbara into the postseason, as the Gauchos finished in eighth place at Monday and Tuesday's Big West Championships at San Luis Obispo Country Club. Sitting in sixth place after a 295 in round two, the Gauchos limped to the finish with a 9-over 297 on the final day, ending the tournament at 33-over 897, two shots behind seventh-place Cal Poly.

UC Davis won the tournament, carding a final-round 284 for a three-under-par 861 total, seven shots ahead of UC Irvine, which had a final-round 289, and Pacific, with a final-round 286.

The Aggies' Austin Graham and Ramie Sprinkling battled for medalist honors in a playoff, after Graham's 69 and Sprinkling's 20 in the final round evened the pair at 3-under 213 through both days. Graham's second shot on the 18th hole rolled back to within two feet of the cup and he sank the birdie putt to win the playoff against Sprinkling, who settled for a bogey after his second shot landed in a sand trap.

Graham and Sprinkling finished one stroke ahead of four golfers who shared third place -- Scott Clayton and Andrew Patipaksiril of UC Riverside, T.J. Bordeaux of Pacific and Michael Im of UC Irvine.

Weir used solid rounds of 73, 72, and 73 to capture a tie for 12th place, playing the par-5's three strokes under par on the tournament. Weir played the front nine on the final day 2-under par, but had three bogies and no birdies on the back-nine to finish the Championship. He dropped 12 birdies in the tournament, fourth best in the field.

After an even-par 72 in the second round, Brian Hollenbeck shot 4-over in the final round, earning him a tie for 23rd place with an 8-over 224 . Hollenbeck ranked fifth best in the field on the par-3's, shooting just 2-over with the short sticks

Goleta-native Sean Bowman, playing in his first tournament since October, got off to an rough start, shooting rounds of 77 and 78, respectively. The senior found his groove in the final round, notching 11 pars on his way to a 1-over 73, good enough for 31st place at 12-over 228.

Aaron Sherry (+14) and Gunson (+18) rounded out the scoring for Gauchos.

None of the UCSB top-5 were able to score in red numbers in either of the three rounds, as the dry heat made for difficult playing conditions and hard, fast greens. The field averaged 74.33 strokes per round on the weekend, more than two strokes over par.

The NCAA regionals for men will be held at six sites, including the Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, on May 14-16 with the NCAA Men's Golf Championship slated for May 26-30 at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio.

2009 All-Big West Conference Awards Men First Team Ramie Sprinkling, UC Davis Geoff Gonzalez, Cal Poly Nick Delio, Cal State Northridge Nate Pistaccio, UC Davis Austin Graham, UC Davis

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