UC Riverside entered the final round of play with a six-stroke lead and never let up as the Highlanders went on to capture the 2016 Big West Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, Calif., after carding a three-day score of 2-under 862.
The Highlanders claimed their first men’s title since 2005 after leading second place Cal Poly by three strokes. This completes the sweep of the Big West golf championships for UC Riverside as the women’s golf team claimed the program’s first-ever title just two weeks ago.
Cal Poly fired the low-round score of the day at 3-under 285 but it just wasn’t enough to surpass the sizable lead the Highlanders opened the day with. The Mustangs’ second place finish is their best showing since claiming the second spot in 2007. UC Santa Barbara ends the event in third place and is followed by UC Davis and Long Beach State, who tied for fourth with a three-round score of 873.
Host CSUN secured the sixth spot with a total of 883. The Titans of Cal State Fullerton fired their best round on day three to move up to the seventh spot at 888 and UC Irvine slipped to eighth with a 891 point total. Hawai’i closed out the nine-team field with a score of 904.
Gaucho Brandon Bauman entered the conference championship with the league’s second-best stroke average off 71.6, but he finished the event atop the leaderboard to capture UCSB’s first individual medalist honor since Jeff Wood claimed the title at the 2001 championship. This marks the third tournament title of the season for the sophomore from Las Vegas, Nev., who also won the UC Riverside Winter Intercollegiate and the Wyoming Cowboy Classic.
Bauman’s 4-under 212 edged out Cal Poly’s Cole Nygren, who fired a 3-under on the final day for a three-round score of 213, by one stroke. There was a three-way tie for third after Cal State Fullerton’s Matt Wilson, CSUN’s Tim Snyder and UC Riverside’s Matt Lutz shot 1-under 215.
The Highlanders, as well as other Big West teams and individuals, will learn their fate regarding the NCAA Division I men’s regionals Thursday, May 5 at 6:30 a.m. on The Golf Channel. This year’s event is held at six sites from May 16-18. The regional sites include Tuscaloosa, Ala., Tucson, Ariz., Kohler, Wis., Albuquerque, N.M., Stillwater, Okla., and Nashville, Tenn. The six-day NCAA Men’s Golf Championship is scheduled for May 27-June 1 at Eugene Country Club in Eugene, Ore.