Courtesy of UCR Athletics
Courtesy of UCR Athletics

For the second consecutive year, the UCR’s men’s golf team finished third at the Big West Championship.

The Highlanders were only 11 shots back of first-place UC Irvine and 10 strokes behind second-place UC Davis in the Big West Championships at the San Luis Obispo Country Club on April 26 to 28. UCSB and Long Beach State were four strokes behind UCR.

Leading the Highlanders was Sam Gillis, who tied for sixth with a 216 (74-71-71). He was three strokes shy of second place and four strokes behind individual champion Cal Poly’s Justin De Los Santos, who shot a 212.

Only one stroke behind him was teammate David Gazzolo, who finished ninth with a 217, and behind him was Matt Lutz, who shot a 218 to tie for 10th place. Andrew Vu tied for 24th with a 224. To round out the Highlanders’ scores was Anthony Bonales, who finished a single stroke behind Vu with a 225, good enough for 27th place.

On day one of the Big West Golf Championship, UCR’s team was two strokes ahead of second-place UC Davis and led the field.

Gazzolo was first out of 45 collegiate athletes, with a three-under-par score of 67, one stroke ahead of Mike Brockington of UC Davis. Lutz was tied for fifth with 72, and Bonales scored 73 to tie for 11th place. The remaining Highlander in the top 20 was Gillis with 74, good for 18th place. Andre Vu for UCR placed 31st with a 77.

UCR ended the following day in second place with a score of 575 on day two of the Big West Men’s Championship. They accumulated a 289, three over their 286 day-one score, allowing UC Davis to ease into first with a 285. UCI tied UCR with a 286 second-day score, which brought both teams two strokes shy of UC Davis.

Gazzolo led the Highlanders after two rounds, tied for first with a 141 along with UCI’s Pete Fernandez, who leaped 10 spots after hitting a 68. He was two strokes ahead of three players tied for third.

Gillis and Lutz were tied for seventh, shooting 145 in the two-day span, while Vu shot a 148 for a 17th place tie. Bonales scored 149, placing him 24th out of 45 golfers.

On day three, UCR shot a pedestrian 296 for a combined score of 871, which was 11 off the pace of the winner, UC Irvine (860) and 10 behind second-place UC Davis (861).

UC Irvine advances to the NCAA Division I men’s regional while the Highlanders concluded the spring portion of its season. The tournament was the final competition for senior Gazzolo.