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Big West Announces Men's Golf Awards

5/10/2017

Big West Conference Men's Golf All-Conference

The Big West Conference office announced the 2017 men’s golf awards and UC Irvine’s David Kim walked away with Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year honors, while UC Santa Barbara’s Brett Bennett earned the Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year accolade.  Gauchos head coach Steve Lass was named Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year.

UC Santa Barbara's Brett Bennett, UC Irvine's David Kim, and Gauchos head coach Steve Lass earned the highest #BWCHonors for 2016-17 men's golf.

Kim, who leads the ‘Eaters with a 71.33 average, becomes the first UC Irvine player in seven years to earn men’s golfer of the year honors.  Former ‘Eater John Chin captured the award three consecutive years from 2008-2010.  In 11 tournaments played this season, the Fullerton, Calif., native, posted eight top-10 finishes, including an eighth place finish at the Big West Conference Men’s Golf Championship last week. Kim earned medalist honors in the Cal Poly Shootout April 17-18 at Cypress Ridge Golf Club in Arroyo Grande.  He was named Big West Golfer of the Month for October after posting a pair of top-five finishes. He has shot under par in 15 rounds this season and is a combined 4-under par over 33 rounds with nine rounds in the 60s, including a 65 at the Cal Poly Shootout.

The junior was recently selected to compete as an individual in the NCAA Regional at the Stanford Golf Course May 15-17.  Kim is the first UCI player to compete as an individual at a regional since Pete Fernandez in 2014.  The Anteaters qualified as a team for the 2015 NCAA Regional in Lubbock, Texas.

As a freshman, Bennett competed in eight of UC Santa Barbara’s 11 tournaments this season and placed in the top 10 in four of those events, which included medalist honors at a dual match with Yale.  He also tied for third at the Pro Compression Invitational after carding 210 at the three-round event.  He finished tied for 17th at last week’s Big Weest Conference Men’s Golf Championship with a three-round total of 1-over 217.  The Huntington Beach, Calif., native enters next week’s NCAA Stanford Regional sporting a 72.6 stroke average, which ranks fourth on the Gauchos team.  Bennett is the second Gaucho in three years to receive the freshman of the year award, as Zach Smith picked up the honor in 2015.

Lass collects his second coach of the year award of his career after he led the Gauchos to their first Big West Conference Men’s Golf Championship since 1998, the same year he earned his first coach of the year honor.  In an exciting finish that came down to the final putt of the tournament, UC Santa Barbara edged CSUN by one shot, 852 (-12) to 853 (-11), to earn its first NCAA Tournament bid since 1999.  The Gauchos entered the Big West Championship as the top seed, having won four tournaments earlier in the season, including the final two of the regular season. Lass is set to lead the men’s golf team at the NCAA Stanford Regional May 15-17 where it is the 11th seeded team at the 13-team Regional which will be played at the Stanford Golf Course.

Big West Men’s Golf Player of the Year
David Kim, UC Irvine

Big West Men’s Golf Freshman of the Year
Brett Bennett, UC Santa Barbara

Big West Men’s Golf Coach of the Year
Steve Lass, UC Santa Barbara

First Team All-Big West
Brandon Bauman, UC Santa Barbara
David Kim, UC Irvine
Felix Mory, CSUN
Cole Nygren, Cal Poly
Zach Smith, UC Santa Barbara
Nick Swanson, UC Santa Barbara

Second Team All-Big West
Brett Bennett, UC Santa Barbara
Ben Corfee, UC Davis
Justin De Los Santos, Cal Poly
Joe Fryer, Long Beach State
Andres Gonzalez, Long Beach State
Bryan Shin, UC Irvine

Honorable Mention All-Big West
Jack Ireland, Cal State Fullerton
Evan Knight, UC Davis
Matt Wilson, Cal State Fullerton