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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Senior Matt Hansen rounds out successful Aggie career

Senior men’s golfer Matt Hansen was determined to finish his time at UC Davis with a bang after four great years of play.

The last few weeks have not disappointed as Hansen won two straight tournaments, earned a spot on the All-Big West First Team and led his team to a NCAA tournament bid.

Hansen came to UC Davis in 2010, spurning hometown Cal Poly in favor of becoming an Aggie.

“I think the golf team was ranked in the top 30 in the nation [when he committed], and then the education [was another factor],” said Hansen regarding his selection of UC Davis.

Hansen opened up his Aggie career with a phenomenal freshman year, winning Big West Freshman of the Year honors before dominating the field for a victory in the Regional round of the NCAA tournament.

“It was pretty special,” Hansen said of his first year. “I was told by a lot of people that you want to go somewhere where you can play for all four years.”

Hansen believed that UC Davis was a premier option for him to gain experience and playing time right away as a freshman. This opportunity was something which Hansen could not pass up and was a deciding factor in his decision to play at UC Davis.

Nothing changed over the next two years, as Hansen continued to rack up awards, being named to the All-Big West Second Team for two straight years. Still, a regular season tournament victory eluded Hansen for his first three collegiate years. That goal was finally achieved in the last regular season tournament of his career, fittingly on the Aggies’ home course.

After dominating the Big West Championships, finishing five strokes ahead of the second place finisher, Hansen is looking forward to another chance in the NCAA tournament. With all of the momentum in his favor from the last two tournaments, Hansen is in pretty good shape.

Matt Hansen will be moving on from UC Davis after the NCAA tournament. Still, he hopes to represent UC Davis as a pro.

“I’m going to be pursuing professional golf,” Hansen said. “I’ll be turning pro in August, playing the amateur schedule and travel[ing] to four or five tournaments over the country in preparation for starting [qualifying school] and start the process there.”

Entering the professional ranks is something that Hansen has aspired to since childhood and will be a dream come true. Given all of the success that Hansen has enjoyed at UC Davis, expect to continue seeing his name in the news at the next level.

RYAN REED can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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