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Thursday, April 18, 2024

UC Davis men’s golf sinks second conference title in three years

Entering the Big West Conference Championship, men’s golf coach Cy Williams was very confident in his team’s chances to take the title.

“It’s all about us,” Williams said before the event. “We play well and we’ll win. Period.”

Williams couldn’t have predicted the results of the conference championships any better.

Behind the strong play of tournament winner Austin Graham, the Aggies cruised to the Big West title by a total of 17 strokes.

“It’s a great reflection on our team,” Williams said. “We felt like we were the best team entering the tournament and our guys really earned that through their play all season.”

Graham took the individual title, carding a 6-under 210 for a four-stroke victory. This conference title is the second for Graham in his UC Davis career, as he bested teammate Ramie Sprinkling in a playoff for the 2009 individual championship.

Graham was the most consistent player, firing three rounds of 70, including back-to-back pars on the final two holes during his last round.

“I am very happy for Austin,” Williams said. “That is a hard golf course and he was methodical and very smart and very patient. He hit some great shots and then had a great short game when he needed to.”

All five Aggies finished in the top-20 out of 45 individual participants. Junior Tyler Raber tied for fourth, while Andrew Haggen came in 11th, Daniel Covrig at 14th and Matt Hansen at 17th.

The Aggies, ranked 57th nationally according to Golfweek, secured an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals, which will be held at six sites from May 19-21. UC Davis will find out its draw on Monday. It will be the third time in four years at the Division I level that the Aggies will go to the Regionals.

With the tournament win, UC Davis solidified itself as a golf powerhouse in the Big West. The Aggie women’s golf team took the conference title a couple weeks ago.

The men’s golf title this year was the 11th time a UC Davis team has come away with either a Big West regular-season or tournament title since joining the league.

JASON ALPERT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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