Aggies take on a field that includes seven Top 25 teams
Pioneer High senior earned 2015-16 JTNC Player of the Year honors
UC Davis is in third place heading into Monday's final round
Aggies open play at Northwestern tournament on Sunday
Matt Marshall and Tyler Raber qualify for one of golf's premiere events next week at Oakmont Country Club
Standout golfer Austin Graham brought further distinction to the program, qualifying for the 2010 NCAA West Regional. Senior Tyler Raber matched that performance, earning an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Pullman Regional at Washington State.
The Aggies, who are in their fourth season as official members of Div. I, have already made their mark by capturing three Wyoming Cowboy Classic tournaments (2007-09) , finishing second during their inaugural appearance at the 2009 Big West Conference Championship and then winning the title the following season.
Williams and his program are also co-hosts with the Stanford of The Prestige at PGA WEST each October. The tournament, entering its 11th year, brings together some of the top golf-playing and academic institutions in the country to a world-class course in La Quinta, Calif.
The Prestige at PGA WEST has featured several outstanding golfers over the years who have earned notable golf achievements, including Luke Donald (Northwestern, 2000), a two-time European Ryder Cup Team Member; Brandt Snedeker (2002, Vanderbilt), who tied for fifth at the 2005 New Zealand PGA Championship; Spencer Levin (2002, UCLA), who tied for 13th at the 2004 U.S. Open for the best amateur finish at the event since 1971; and Jamie Lovemark (USC, 2006), the NCAA Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year in 2006.
UC Davis ended its outstanding run at the Div. II level in 2003 by reaching the NCAA Championships four consecutive seasons - each time finishing in the top 10 - and winning three West Region titles in four years along the way.
In 2004, UC Davis entered its first season of a four-year transition to NCAA Division I membership. Williams' golf program announced its presence into the new level with authority, beating out four future Big West Conference opponents en route to capturing the team title at UC Santa Barbara's Bite Pacific Coast Intercollegiate tourney.
In 2005, UC Davis struck again, repeating its team title at the Bite Pacific Coast Intercollegiate, but not before placing first in the 13-team at the Diablo Grande Intercollegiate in Patterson, Calif. Furthermore, the Aggies enjoyed a second-place fi nish at the Prestige at PGA West in the fall.
The Aggies enjoyed a long history of success before transitioning to Div. I. In 2002, his team enjoyed a record-setting year that culminated with the team's third straight eighth-place finish at the national tournament. The Aggies won two tournament titles: the NCAA West Regional and the Aggie Invitational, the latter which featured the team scoring a school record of 30-under-par. For his efforts, Williams was named the NCAA West Region Coach of the Year.
Williams has been a member of the UC Davis golf staff since 1990. In 1996 and 1997 he was the acting head coach while coach Jim Sochor was coaching with the Scottish Claymores of the NFL Europe football league. When Sochor ended his coaching duties with the Aggies in 1997, Williams was named head coach on a permanent basis.
Williams played for the Aggies from 1984-87, participating at the NCAA Championships as a senior. He graduated from UC Davis in 1987 with a bachelor's degree in math and economics. Williams subsequently went to graduate school at UC Davis where he earned his master's degree (MAT) in math and his teaching credential. He became an assistant coach with the Aggies in 1990, also serving as acting head coach in 1991. He played some mini-tour events in California from 1990-93.
The Aggies were represented at the NCAA Championships each year from 1996 to 2003, finishing 15th in 1996, 13th in 1997, seventh in 1998 and tying for eighth every year from 2000 to 2002. They were ninth at their final appearance in 2003. Jeremy Price represented UC Davis as an individual selection in 1999. The five top-10 fi nishes since 1998 were the highest since the program captured the national title in 1979.
Among his many standout golfers was Louie Bishop, an All-America honorable mention selection in 2006 who was also named winner of UC Davis' W.P. Lindley Award for achievement in academics, athletics and community service.