Event: Oregon Duck Invitational
Where: Eugene Country Club – Eugene, Ore.
When: March 21 to 22
Who to Watch: Tyler Raber was named Big West Golfer of the Month after his performance at the USC Collegiate Invitational a few weeks ago. This was his second time receiving such honors this year.
In that event, the junior out of El Macero, Calif. shot 3-under to lead UC Davis to a fifth-place finish overall.
Raber has placed in the top 20 in six of his eight total events thus far, having shot 10 rounds at par or under.
Did You Know? The Aggies are ranked 51st in the nation, according to Golfweek.
Preview: The UC Davis men’s golf team is poised to take on some tough competition in Eugene, Ore. next week.
Among the opposition will be 35th-ranked Pepperdine, 34th-ranked Oregon and 42nd-ranked Oregon State.
Given UC Davis’ current standing, the team has a shot to climb higher if it puts together the caliber of performance it wants.
Coach Cy Williams simply expects the Aggies to give it their all.
“Our goals are always to be prepared and compete as hard as we can,” Williams said.
Spirits are high after their superb outing in Los Angeles at the USC Collegiate Invitational, in which Raber was not the only Aggie worthy of recognition. Freshman Daniel Covrig also had a breakout event, finishing in a tie for 24th place overall.
As a team, UC Davis finished at 15-over 867, defeating four teams ranked in the top-25 nationally, including No. 18 San Diego, No. 21 Cal, No. 23 USC and No. 24 Washington. UC Davis finished four strokes back of 17th-ranked Stanford who was fourth at 11-over.
According to Williams, last week’s event should certainly give the team some confidence.
“I think every match is critical and [last week] showed us we can compete with the best teams in the country,” Williams said.
Raber and Covrig will both represent the Aggies in Oregon next week, along with senior Austin Graham, sophomores Andrew Haggen and Josh Granger and freshman Matt Seramin.
Despite the fact that the Oregon Duck Invitational will not see PAC-10 powerhouses Stanford, California and USC, that will not change UC Davis’ preparation.
No. 34 Oregon will be competing as the event host, so the Aggies will still have a chance to match up against tough opponents.
“We have beat a lot of strong teams in the past, but we need to keep working hard and improving if we expect to do great things this year,” Williams said.
The Aggies have two more regular season events after the Duck Invitational, the Cowboy Classic and the BYU Cougar Classic, before the Big West Championships in May.
– Ron Hooper