May 1, 2001
El Dorado Hills, Calif. -
Senior Jeff Wood carded a seven-under par 209 to win the individual title at the 2001 Big West Golf Championships on Tuesday. Wood's effort was good enough to help lift UC Santa Barbara into a second place tie with Pacific in the team standings.
The Gauchos entered the final round in third place, five shots back of Pacific and six back of the eventual champion UC Irvine. UCSB shot a final round 288, five better than the Tigers and one better than the Anteaters, allowing them to finish second, the programs highest finish since they won the title in 1998.
For Wood, it was the second indivdual title of his career, both coming in the last three weeks. His efforts in the tournament, and throughout the year, earned him Big West Golfer of the Year honors.
In addition to Wood's outstanding finish, the Gauchos got a solid performances from several others. J.R. Becko finished with an even-par 216, good enough for seventh place and Christian Helland used a third round 69 to finish in a tie for 13th place at 221. Scott Linklater tied for 18th at 222 and Andrew Hoffer finished tied for 21st at 223. UCSB was one of only two schools in the tournament which had all of its golfers finish among the top-21.
UCSB's late-season run, which included last week's second-place finish at the Ben Hogan Invitational in Provo, Utah, has enhanced the possibility that the Gauchos could earn a bid to the NCAA West Regional. The team will find out next week if they have qualified.