Event: NCAA West Regional
Where: Stanford Golf Course — Palo Alto, Calif.
When: Thursday through Saturday, all day
Who to Watch: Matt Hansen competed in the NCAA West Regional last year and showed no signs of first-year jitters.
The Los Osos, Calif. native made quite an impression at last year’s regionals hosted by Arizona, where he shot a nine-under to win the individual title.
Hansen has shown no signs of a sophomore slump and could be a solid contender for the title once again this season.
Did you know? It should not have been a surprise that the UC Davis men’s golf program won the Big West Conference Championship this year, seeing that it was the third time in four seasons.
And yet, when the Aggies seized the conference title, it was very unexpected. UC Davis brought a squad of three freshmen and two sophomores to the tournament with Hansen being the sole Aggie with prior Big West experience.
Sophomore Matt Seramin led the way for UC Davis — drilling a three-under to grab fourth place in the tournament.
Preview: The Aggies have been to the NCAA regionals before, but this is entirely new ground for them.
This season, UC Davis defied expectations when it grabbed the Big West title and the NCAA berth that came with it.
In the 13-team field at Regionals, the Aggies are seeded 13th, but should not be counted out seeing their recent success.
“Ultimately, we’ll be confident based on how we’re playing, how we did in the last tournament, and how we do this week to get ready,” said head coach Cy Williams.
Seramin tied for fourth at the Big West tournament to lead the Aggies, who all placed in the top twenty.
UC Davis will be pitted against some stiff competition at Stanford, where several highly seeded Pacific-12 Conference teams loom at the top of the field.
Williams stresses they won’t be intimidated as the team seems to be playing its best golf of the season.
The Aggies will have to place in the top five teams in the regional field in order to advance to the NCAA finals, which will be held the following week at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“There is a certain comfort level with playing on a course close to home where we’ve played tournaments in the past,” Williams said. “The main goal is to play well, and if we do that, we’ll be able to beat enough teams to advance.”
— MATTHEW YUEN