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Davis, California

Friday, April 12, 2024

Beaten at the Beach

Heading to Pelican Hill, the Aggies were looking to rebound from a disappointing tournament in Hawaii.

Instead, they took a big step back at the Battle at the Beach.

“We just had a lot of big numbers,” said coach Cy Williams. “I’m not sure why. You can’t compete at that level and take the numbers we took. We’re a lot better than this.”

UC Davis finished tied for last place in the field of 14 as they shot 48-over par and finished 17 strokes outside of the top-10.

Tournament co-host No. 14 UCLA finished in first at 10-under par. The Bruins came from behind on the tournament’s final day to beat Arkansas and No. 4 Washington by one stroke.

One bright spot for the Aggies was the play of junior Austin Graham who finished tied for eighth with a score of 5-under. He did not shoot over par on any day of the tournament as he finished in the top-10 for the fourth time this season.

“It was really a great individual performance,” Williams said. “He always has a really good game-plan. Some other guys are just trying to hit good shots, but he makes sure that even when he misses he misses in a good spot where he can still recover.”

Graham – the only Aggie to finish in the top 45 – came in just three strokes behind David Lingmerth of Arkansas and Chris Williams of the nationally ranked Huskies, who each tied for first.

Tyler Raber and Tim Honeycutt both finished tied for 46th at 7-over par. Honeycutt had the best final day of any Aggie at 1-under par.

UC Davis had three golfers finish in the bottom nine out of a field of 86 individuals.

The Aggies have two weeks to practice before they play another tournament. They plan to use this time to reevaluate their situation.

UC Davis has featured the same five starting golfers in each of its tournaments this season, but it could be time for a change.

“This time will be what we make of it,” Williams said. “Austin Graham and Tyler Raber are going to be in the lineup but beyond that we’re going to compete for roster spots.”

The Aggies will certainly need something to change if they plan to defend their Big West Conference title this spring.

TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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