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UCSB’s Brandon Bauman Named Big West Golfer of Year

Brandon Bauman won three tournaments this season.
Brandon Bauman won three tournaments this season. (Noozhawk file photo)

UC Santa Barbara sophomore Brandon Bauman was selected the 2016 Big West Golfer of the Year and fellow-sophomore Zach Smith joined him as a First Team All-Big West selection, the conference announced Wednesday.

Bauman, will play in the NCAA Regional at the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz., on May 16-18, has had one of the finest seasons in UCSB history. He shot a 4-under par 212 to become just the third Gaucho ever to win the Big West Tournament individual championship. In addition, Bauman won medalist honors at the UC Riverside Winter Invitational and the Wyoming Cowboy Classic. In all, he had five top-5 finishes and seven top-10 finishes in 2015-16. He is the third UCSB player to walk away with the league's top honor joining Glen Scher (2013) and Jeff Wood (2001).

"Brandon is very deserving of this honor," said head coach Steve Lass. "He's been consistently outstanding virtually all season and winning three tournaments is a big deal. I'm very happy for him."

The Las Vegas, Nev., native won two of his last three tournaments and finished second in the third. His stroke average of 71.54 per round is the lowest ever recorded by a Gaucho player and it is tops in the Big West. In 33 rounds this season, he had 15 rounds under par and nine at par. Bauman completed the regular season and league tournament by shooting nine consecutive rounds at or under par and eight of the nine were under par.

Smith, the 2015 Big West Freshman of the Year, also had an outstanding season. He tied for sixth at the Big West Conference Tournament and his season also included a second-place finish at the UC Riverside Winter Intercollegiate. In all, Smith recorded four top-10 finishes in 2015-16 and his stroke average of 72.33 per round was among the three lowest in UCSB history.

"Zach was consistently good this year," Lass said. "Sometimes a player will slump after having an outstanding freshman season, but that was not the case with Zach."

Like Bauman, Smith played all 33 rounds for the Gauchos in 2015-16. He was at or under par in 16 and actually led the team in sub-70 rounds with 10.

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