For the 10th straight year, UC Davis co-hosted the Prestige, a collegiate golf tournament at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
This year, the teams invited to the tournament received not just the chance to play against some of the best programs in the nation, but also the opportunity to play on the famous Stadium Course at PGA West.
Every other year the PGA Tour hosts their annual qualifying tournament, known as Q-School at the Stadium Course.
For those collegiate golfers looking to make the jump to the pro tour after their college careers, getting a chance to play on the course they may have to qualify on is valuable experience.
“When you get on a course like that where you know what the pros shoot, you can really compare how you’re stacking up against them,” said assistant coach Todd Hammond. “We used the exact same pin positions as they use for tour school.”
Unfortunately, the Aggies were unable to win the tournament that they co-hosted with Stanford, placing 8th overall out of the 13 teams invited. Stanford took 2nd.
Junior Austin Graham and sophomore transfer Tim Honeycutt both got their tournaments off to a good start, firing 71s on Sunday. When the first day of play was completed UC Davis sat in fourth with a team score of 289 (-1).
On Monday, the Aggies would slide down from 4th to 7th. Sophomore Tyler Raber led UC Davis on the second day of action with a 1-over 73. Raber’s 73 paired with his Sunday 72 tied him with teammate Graham for 11th at +1.
Though Raber would continue his good play, with a 1-under 71 on Tuesday, UC Davis was unable to stop their slide.
“We definitely left some strokes out on the course,” Hammond said. “Our talent level is right there, but we just had too many holes where we had big numbers.”
Despite his early success, sophomore transfer Honeycutt posted some big numbers on Monday and Tuesday that really hurt the Aggies chances to move up the leader board.
Redshirt freshman Andrew Haggen posted the Aggies best round of the tournament on Tuesday with a 2-under 70.
Graham, who normally leads the Aggies by example, did so, with the exception of one hole.
“It’s a freak kind of thing, but Austin played really well except on the 18th hole which he bogeyed every round,” said Hammond. “He was 6-over for three holes, but only 4-over for the tournament.”
Graham would place 22nd overall in a tie with Haggen, while Raber would stay in 11th, placing UC Davis on the individual leader board.
When all was said and done, the Aggies would find themselves in 8th place overall.
“We’re a very competitive team,” Hammond said. “There’s no way we’re happy with 8th. We probably weren’t going to catch TCU, but there were teams that we definitely could have caught.”
Defending tournament chance Texas Christian University ran away with the tournament with a team total of 12-under 276. The Hornfrogs bested second place Stanford by 16 strokes.
The Aggies next opportunity to prove their competitiveness will be a little bit closer to home. UC Davis will tee off at the Pacific Invitational in Stockton on Nov. 2nd.
JOHN S. HELLER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.