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UCSB’s Brandon Bauman Wins Big West Golf Title

Sophomore Brandon Bauman is UCSB’s first Big West individual golf champion since 2001.
Sophomore Brandon Bauman is UCSB’s first Big West individual golf champion since 2001. (Tony Mastres photo)

SIMI VALLEY — Sophomore Brandon Bauman birdied the final hole to become just the third UC Santa Barbara player ever to win individual medalist honors at the Big West Conference Tournament as he finished with a 4-under par 212 to edge Cal Poly's Cole Nygren by one shot after Wednesday's final round at Wood Ranch Golf Club. The Gauchos were third in the team competition.

Bauman entered the third round of the tournament tied with Long Beach State's Daniel Chian for first-place, but Chian struggled to a 4-over par 76 setting the table for UCSB's top player to claim the title and he did just that with a 1-under 71 final round. Nygren carded a 3-under par in the third round and was tied with Bauman for the lead before the Las Vegas native drained his final putt from about six feet away on the 18th hole to claim the victory.

"This was typical Brandon," said Gaucho head coach Steve Lass. "When he hit errant shots today, his short game saved him. He is a bulldog out on the course and is well deserving of the title."

Bauman was once again solid from start-to-finish as he recorded just two bogeys to go along with three birdies and 13 pars. He became the first UCSB player to win the Big West indivivdual crown since Jeff Wood won the title in 2001. Mark Melendez also won the championship in 1974. In 2013, Brett Silvernail tied for the top spot and lost in a playoff. The title was Bauman's third in 2015-16. In his last three tournaments he's had two championships and a second-place finish.

As a team, the Gauchos started the final round in third-place and finished for their highest finish since 2001 when they tied for second. UC Riverside, which shot a tournament-low 280 in the second round to take the lead, won the team championship with a final score of 862, three shots better than Cal Poly and 10 better than UCSB. UC Davis and Long Beach State tied for fourth, 11 shots off the pace.

Another Santa Barbara sophomore, Zach Smith, finished 1-over par with a 217 to tie for sixth-place. Freshman Nick Swanson shot a 1-under par third round to complete a solid debut at the league championship tournament with a 2-over 218, good enough to tie for 12th-place. Derek Trofimczuk finished 10-over to tie for 30th and Ryan Cuenca finished at 13-over and in 38th-place.

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