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Big West Announces Men's Golf Top Honors


The Big West Conference handed out the top awards for the 2015-16 men’s golf season, along with the all-conference teams, and UC Santa Barbara’s Brandon Bauman earned the Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year honor.  UC Davis’ Ryan Knop nabbed the Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year award and Rick Todd, from UC Riverside, received Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the year accolades.

Bauman, who was selected to compete in the upcoming NCAA Golf Championship, is averaging a league-best 71.55 shots per round and 23 of his 33 rounds this year have been under or at par.  He will take part in the NCAA Regional at the Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz., hosted by the University of Arizona.

The Las Vegas, Nev., native won three individual titles this season, which includes his most recent success of becoming just the third UC Santa Barbara golfer ever to win the Big West Conference Tournament individual title. He also won titles at the UC Riverside Winter Intercollegiate and the Wyoming Cowboy Classic. In addition, he had a second-place finish at the OGIO-UCSB Intercollegiate and a fourth-place finish at the LMU Invitational. In his last three tournaments, Bauman has two first-place and a second-place finish.  This is the third time a Gaucho has walked away with the top honor, as Glen Scher earned the prize in 2013 and Jeff Wood in 2001.

Knop closed out his freshman campaign with his best performance of the year, a 12th place finish at the Big West Conference Championship, missing his first Top 10 finish by one stroke.  Over the course of 11 tournaments, Pleasanton, Calif., native carded a 72.8 stroke average to finish third on the team.  Knop was part of the five-man Aggie team that captured the team title at The Goodwin, a prestigious 26-team tournament that showcased seven highly-ranked programs. He fired even-par 70 on the final round for a three-day score of 215 to finish tied for 35th.  Knop is the first Aggie to earn freshman of the year honors since Matt Hansen accomplished the feat in 2011.

Todd, who took over the men’s golf program last November, guided the Highlanders to their first conference title since 2005.  The Highlanders, who entered the final round with a shot six lead, held off an early charge from Cal Poly and outplayed the Mustangs on holes 17-18 to win the 2016 conference tournament at Wood Ranch Golf Club in Simi Valley, Calif. This week they are set to compete in the Tucson NCAA Regional at the Gallery Club Course in Marana, Ariz., which is hosted by the University of Arizona.  Todd, who guided UCR to three Top 3 finishes in the Spring, becomes the first UC Riverside coach to earn coach of the year honors since Paul Hjulberg did so in both 2004 and 2005. 

Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara each secured two spots on the All-Big West First Team, while Long Beach State and UC Davis notched one spot apiece. The complete teams are listed below:

Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year
Brandon Bauman, UC Santa Barbara

Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
Ryan Knop, UC Davis

Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year
Rick Todd, UC Riverside

First Team All-Big West
Brandon Bauman, UC Santa Barbara
Daniel Chian, Long Beach State
Ben Corfee, UC Davis
Justin De Los Santos, Cal Poly
Cole Nygren, Cal Poly
Zach Smith, UC Santa Barbara

Second Team All-Big West
Skye Inakoshi, Hawai’i
Sam Gillis, UC Riverside
Ryan Knop, UC Davis
Felix Mory, CSUN
Jesse Yap, Cal Poly

Honorable Mention All-Big West
David Kim, UC Irvine
Matt Lutz, UC Riverside
Tim Snyder, CSUN
Patrick Soli, UC Davis
Luke Vivolo, UC Davis
Matt Wilson, Cal State Fullerton