April 30, 2013
SAN JACINTO, Calif. - Ben Corfee's 1-under 71 and Matt Hansen's 72 helped the UC Davis men's golf team challenge for the Big West Championship on Tuesday but the third-place Aggies came up just shy at the Country Club at Soboba Springs in their try to win a third consecutive league title.
The Aggies began the day in third place, five strokes behind leader Pacific and one back of second-place Cal State Fullerton, and the tournament came down to a three-way battle. UC Davis took the lead midway through the final round and was within 1-3 strokes most of the rest of the way.
The Aggies eventually finished at 26-over 890, three shots back of Pacific and Cal State Fullerton which were declared co-champions but went to a one-hole playoff to determine the Big West's automatic berth to the NCAA Championships in May. Pacific won on the first playoff hole.
"It was a great battle between three good teams," said Aggie coach Cy Williams. "We were looking really good for a while but the other teams came on strong. There's no other way to say it, it came down to the last hole and we didn't execute. If we execute and just make pars, we win the tournament. That's how close it was."
UC Davis was 4 over on the last hole while Pacific and Cal State Fullerton were each even. The Aggies were 10 over for the day.
The Aggies, ranked 70th in the most recent Golfstat rankings, still have hope for a berth to the NCAA Regionals which will be announced next week. A total of 81 teams are selected for the championship.
Hansen and Corfee each had solid final rounds for UC Davis, tying for fifth and 11th, respectively, in the individual standings. Senior Tyler Raber shot a 77 and was 24th, Jonny Baxter carded a 78 and tied for 13th and Matt Seramin also posted a 78, tying for 25th.
Eric Sugimoto from Pacific, UC Santa Barbara's Brett Silvernail and Corey Gard of Cal State Fullerton tied for first place at 1 over. Sugimoto won medalist honors on the second playoff hole.
Hansen's par round was balanced with two birdies - the first on the par-5 6th and the other on the par-4 17th - and just two bogeys, along with 14 pars. He was just 3 over for the week. Corfee was strong throughout Tuesday as well, picking up two birdies and 11 pars on his first 13 holes to move to 2 under. He had a birdie, two pars and two bogeys down the stretch, finishing the tournament 6 over.
Baxter was 4 over at his turn but played the back nine just two shots above par, picking up a birdie on the 18th hole to help him come in 7 over for the championship. Raber's birdie on the par-5 5th helped him cover the first nine holes just 2 over. He finished the tournament 12 over. Seramin's round saw two early double-bogeys but he helped counter that with two birdies and an eagle on the par-5 16th. He was 13 over overall.
"Ben Corfee came through with a big round today when we needed it and Matt Hansen had a great round and really had a good tournament," said Williams. "Now it's important to know that this season isn't done yet. Our play throughout the season has put us in a position where we can be considered for an at-large bid."
The NCAA will announce its tournament field on Monday at 6 p.m. (PDT) at NCAA.com.
BIG WEST CHAMPIONSHIPS
San Jacinto, Calif.
The Country Club at Soboba Springs
Par 72, 7,137 yards
T1. Pacific, 298-289-300-887 (* - won on 1st playoff hole)
T1. Cal State Fullerton, 293-298-296-887
3. UC DAVIS, 301-291-298-890
4. UC Santa Barbara, 305-292-295-892
5. Long Beach State, 297-296-301-894
6. Hawaii, 292-304-310-906
7. UC Irvine, 305-293-310-908
8. UC Riverside, 302-305-305-912
T9. Cal Poly, 302-309-317-928
T9. Cal State Northridge, 304-306-318-928
T1. Eric Sugimoto, Pacific, 74-69-74-217 (* - won on 2nd playoff hole)
T1. Corey Gard, Cal State Fullerton, 69-71-77-217
T1. Brett Silvernail, UC Santa Barbara, 75-73-69-217
Corfee, Knight earn All-Big West accolades
Four teams earn
NCAA Public Recognition Awards