GLF: Silvernail leads Gauchos to 4th-place result

SAN JACINTO – Led by sophomore Brett Silvernail, who tied for first after regulation and lost in a three-way playoff for medalist honors, the UC Santa Barbara golf team finished in fourth-place at the Big West Conference Championship on Tuesday at The Country Club at Soboba Springs.

Silvernail shot a 3-under par 69 in the third and final round, the best score of the day, to pull into a tie with Cal State Fullerton’s Corey Gard and the ultimate winner, Eric Sugimoto of Pacific, at 1-over par 217, forcing a playoff for medalist honors. Silvernail was out after the first hole, but still had his best tournament of the year.

As a team, the Gauchos shot the low round of the day with a 7-over par 295, one shot better than Fullerton, which finished second to Pacific after a playoff. They climbed from sixth-place after the second round into fourth, two shots ahead of Long Beach State and 14 ahead of Hawaii. They were just two shots back of third-place UC Davis and five behind Fullerton and Pacific.

After the first round of the Big West Championship on Sunday, UCSB was tied for ninth-place with UC Irvine, which finished seventh, 16 shots behind the Gauchos.

Junior Glen Scher, who has already won a pair of tournaments this season, challenged for the lead much of the third round, but settled for a final score of 5-over par 221, tying for eighth-place. It was his seventh straight top-10 finish.

Senior Jordan Epstein carded his best round of the tournament, recording a 1-over par 73 on Tuesday. Epstein improved his score by two shots in each round. After shooting a 5-over par 77 on Sunday, he posted a 3-over par 75 on Tuesday. Overall he shot a 10-over par 225 and tied for 17th in the fifeld of 50 golfers. Amol Mahal was 17-over par and finished 36th while Marshall Colby had his best round on Tuesday at 5-over par 77, and finished the tournament at 20-over par and in 41st.

UCSB finished 36 shots ahead of Cal Poly to earn a point in the Blue-Green Rivalry Series, giving the Gauchos a 15-14 lead.