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Davis, California

Monday, April 15, 2024

Aggies place 12th at NCAA Regional

The Aggies earned a berth into the NCAA Regional with a tremendous performance at the Big West Conference tournament, but didn’t have enough magic in them to advance to the NCAA final round.

The upset-minded UC Davis men’s golf team entered Stanford as the 13th seed in a field that consisted of some of the top teams in the nation. A finish in the top five would have allowed UC Davis to advance, but overcoming so many of the nation’s top schools that was a tall order.

“I think we competed really well and I’m happy with them, but we just weren’t as good as the top five teams,” said coach Cy Williams. “This is a very talented team and I’m very proud of the guys.”

UC Davis brought what Williams guessed to be one of the youngest teams in the NCAA tournament. Three sophomores and two freshmen made up the Aggie lineup and only sophomore Matt Hansen had previous NCAA Regional experience.

A tough first round all but destroyed the Aggies chances of placing in the top five and advancing to the NCAA championship as their 293 had them in last place in the 13 team field.

UC Davis was led by sophomore Jonny Baxter, whose one-over 211 total tied him for 27th place in the field. Baxter followed his even first round with a two-under in the second round that featured five birdies and ten pars.

Baxter’s round led the Aggies to their best single day of the tournament as they shot an even 280 on Friday. Sophomore Matt Hansen shot an even 70 followed by 71’s from sophomore Matt Seramin and freshman Luke Vivolo.

“The last rounds were solid and everyone contributed, they competed hard and I’m proud,” Williams said. “Your goal is to minimize the bad round and that’s what put us out of the running.”

Hansen placed 41st overall and freshman Mike Brockington led the Aggies with a 68 on the final day for his best round of the tournament.

All told, the Aggies can take several positives from their 17-over 857 overall team score.

“Familiarity helped a little, but we were just a way better team than we were then,” Williams said. “As young as they are, we were ready because athletes get better with experience.”

As far as experience goes, the future looks bright for UC Davis, who closes the 2012 campaign ready to tee off next year. The Aggies have all their starters returning and will have red-shirt senior Tyler Raber back.

“This season was a success since it was supposed to be a rebuilding year,” Williams said. “For these guys to come out and deal with all the things that happened and to win the Big West was a huge success.”

Matthew Yuen can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.


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