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Big West Announces Men's Golf Awards


Zach Smith (UCSB), Luke Vivolo (UCD) and Paul Smolinski (UCI) take home top Big West honors for 2015Big West Men's Golf All-Confernece (pdf)

History was made this year with the 2015 Big West men’s golf award selections as two schools earned top honors for the first time in program history.   Luke Vivolo secured UC Davis’ first Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year, while Zach Smith picked up UC Santa Barbara’s first Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year.  UC Irvine Head Coach Paul Smolinski walked away with Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year for the first time since 2010.

Vivolo, who paced the league with a 71.3 stroke average this year, becomes the first Aggie to earn Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year distinction.  The junior from Carmel, Calif., carded four Top-10 finishes, which includes individual medalist honors at UC Davis’ home event, El Macero Classic, on April 10-12. Competing in 12 events, he only placed below 30th one time this year which was a tie for 46th at The Goodwin, an unusually large 24-team field that featured nine teams in Golfstat’s Top 50.  Over the course of the spring, Vivolo collected Big West Golfer of the Month accolades for both February and April.  His season continues next week as he leads UC Davis in its fifth overall postseason appearance as a Div. I program in Bremerton, Wash., for NCAA regional action.

In his first year as a Gaucho, Smith paced the team and finished third in the conference with a 72.1 stroke average over nine tournaments.  The Pleasanton, Calif., native finished in the top 20 at three events this year with his highest finish of fifth place booking-ending the regular season.  In his first collegiate event he carded a fifth place finish at the Cowboy Southern Dunes tournament and then closed out the regular season finishing fifth at the Gauchos’ home event - OGIO-UCSB Intercollegiate.  His first round score of 67 in the first round of the Wyoming Cowboy Classic was the lowest single-round score of the season for UC Santa Barbara.   Smith becomes the first Gaucho to garner Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year honors since the award began back in 2005.

Smolinski collects his eighth Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year award after guiding UC Irvine to its seventh Big West title and first since 2010.  At last month’s conference championship, the Anteaters closed out the tournament tying for the low round of the day at 285 to finish with a 54-hole total of 860, holding off top-seeded UC Davis by one shot (861). With the conference title, the Anteaters earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Regionals for their 13th postseason appearance in program history.  UC Irvine registered seven Top-5 finishes during the 2014-15 season, which included team titles at the Del Walker Intercollegiate, Cal Poly Match Play and the Big West Conference Men’s Golf Championship.  Smolinski also earned coach of the year honors in 2001-03, 2006-08 and 2010.

Five different schools are represented in the six-person All-Big West First Team with UC Riverside the lone school to nab two spots with senior David Gazzolo and sophomore Sam Gillis making the list.  The complete teams are listed below:

Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year
Luke Vivolo, UC Davis, Jr.

Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
Zach Smith, UC Santa Barbara

Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year
Paul Smolinski, UC Irvine

All-Big West First Team
Mike Brockington, UC Davis, Sr.
Justin De Los Santos, Cal Poly, So.
Pete Fernandez, UC Irvine, Sr.
David Gazzolo, UC Riverside, Sr.
Sam Gillis, UC Riverside, So.
Luke Vivolo, UC Davis, Jr.

All-Big West Second Team
JJ Holen, Long Beach State, Sr.
David Kim, UC Irvine, Fr.
Jacob Schulze, UC Irvine, Jr.
Matt Seramin, UC Davis, Sr.
Zach Smith, UC Santa Barbara, Fr.

All-Big West Honorable Mention

Daniel Chian, Long Beach State, Jr.
Camden Price, Cal Poly, Jr.
Ryan Tetrault, Cal State Fullerton, Sr.