May 1, 2012
Matt Seramin tied for fourth, Mike Brockington tied for sixth place and the UC Davis men's golf team held off No. 41 Long Beach State to claim its second straight Big West Conference Men's Golf Championship on Tuesday at the La Quinta Mountain Resort in La Quinta, Calif.
UC Davis shot a 6-under 858 over the course of the 54-hole tournament, edging Long Beach State by just one stroke to claim the title for the third time in four years.
Long Beach State maintained a strong lead for much of the day, but UC Davis closed the gap then went up by as many as four strokes over the 49ers.
With just three holes to play, however, the Aggies held just a slim one-stroke lead over Long Beach State until sophomore Jonny Baxter parred the final hole of the tournament to give UC Davis the title.
"From start to finish, they just believed they could do it," said head coach Cy Williams. "They were amazing. They had great focus, they never got down if things didn't go their way. They just kept playing. When they got into their game each round, they really got it going. They just believed they could do it."
Seramin closed out the tournament with his second straight 70, finishing at 3-under 213 to tie with UC Santa Barbara's Paul Otte.
The sophomore, one of three in the lineup for UC Davis, wavered throughout his front nine, moving to one under briefly, but finished even as he turned the corner. His back nine proved much more consistent as he opened with three straight pars, then birdied three straight to drop to three under.
An unfortunate double bogey on the par-3 16th hole moved him to one under, but he regrouped immediately with a birdie on the very next hole. He made par on the final hole of the day to seal his 2-under 70 and fourth-place finish.
Brockington quickly jumped out to three under thanks to a birdie on the par-4 third hole which was followed by an eagle on the very next hole. He double bogeyed as well, carding a seven on the par-5 seventh hole to drop to one under, then bogeyed the final hole of his front nine to finish even.
His back nine was highlighted by back-to-back birdies as well as seven pars as he rallied for his second straight 70 to finish at 2-under 214.
"Seramin and Brockington both did really great at our last tournament and they carried that over," said Williams. "The Winchester Classic was a big deal for us. They had a lot of confidence coming off of that one. Seramin was just a monster all week and some of the shots he hit were really incredible."
Baxter's 3-over 75 left him even for the tournament while Hansen and Vivolo each shot a 3-over 219.
With just five strokes separating first from fourth place, UC Davis edged out Long Beach State which came in second place at 5-under 859 while Cal State Fullerton placed third at 3-under 861. Pacific was fourth at 1-under 863.
UC Santa Barbara (+3), UC Irvine (+4), Cal Poly (+30), Cal State Northridge (+31) and UC Riverside (+45) round out the nine-team field.
Pacific's Alex Edfort took home individual medalist honors with an impressive 13-under 203.
UC Davis secured the Big West's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals which will be held at six different sites May 17-19, 2012.
The Aggies return to the NCAA Championship for the fourth time in its five-year history as a Div. I institution. Last year, UC Davis earned a team bid to the Arizona Regional where Matt Hansen rallied for a two-stroke victory.
BIG WEST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP
La Quinta, Calif.
La Quinta Mountain Resort
1. UC DAVIS, 290-280-288 - 858
2. Long Beach State, 294-283-282 - 859
3. Cal State Fullerton, 290-292-279 - 861
4. Pacific, 282-289-292 - 863
5. UC Santa Barbara, 292-281-294 - 867
6. UC Irvine, 291-288-289 - 868
7. Cal Poly, 301-298-295 - 894
8. Cal State Northridge, 301-296-298 - 895
9. UC Riverside, 294-309-306 - 909
1. Alex Edfort, Pacific, 68-68-67 - 203