May 17, 2014
AUBURN, Ala. - Led by Luke Vivolo's 3-under 69 that helped him tie for seventh place, the UC Davis men's golf team had three players break par during the final round of the NCAA Auburn Regional on Saturday en route to the second-best score of the day and a tie for ninth-place in the final standings.
Senior Matt Hansen added a 70 for UC Davis while redshirt freshman Nicolas Noya carded a 71 as the 11th-seeded Aggies finished with a 4-under 284 on Saturday. Only defending national champion and regional titlist Alabama, which had a 282, had a better score in the last round. It was the Aggies' best score in the three-day regional by 16 shots.
Vivolo's strong finish put him in a tie for seventh place in the final standings at 1-under 215. Hansen's rally tied him for 28th at 7 over while Noya tied for 50th at 12 over. Senior Joshua Granger had his best round of the week, carding a 74 that left him tied for 66th at 21 over. Ben Corfee posted a 79, tying for 44th at 11 over.
The Crimson Tide (853) won the tournament by a massive 22 strokes over Kennesaw State (287) which was 11 over in second place. Auburn (878), Virginia Tech (882) and Texas (884) were the remaining teams to qualify for the NCAA Finals. UC Davis entered the day in 12th place but moved up into the top 10 - beating their No. 11 seed - and finishing just four shots out of a qualifying position.
"I'm very proud of our team," said Aggie coach Cy Williams. "The guys played great, we just ran out of holes. UC Davis should be pretty proud of them. They were right there. If we would've had just a little bit better of a start on days 1 and 2, we would've made it through. I think it leaves us very excited going forward."
Vivolo had his third-best finish of the season. He beat the top-ranked golfer in the country - Robby Shelton of Alabama who tied for 13th - and the No. 5 golfer, Bobby Wyatt of Alabama who tied for 28th. Vivolo had two birdies on his front nine and was even with four holes to go before a birdie on the par-4 sixth hole followed by an eagle on the par-5 seventh sparked him to a 3-under 69.
"That was a great tournament for Luke and well-deserved," Williams said. "He works as hard as anybody. I'm very happy for him."
Hansen, who enjoyed an impressive senior season which was highlighted by a pair of tournament titles - including the Big West Championship - had his best round of the week with his 2-under 70. He was even after nine holes but then came in strong with birdies on a pair of par-5 holes as he went 2 under on the back nine with no bogeys.
Noya's 71 was seven shots better than his second round. A couple of bogeys put him 2 over with nine holes to go but birdies on the first, sixth and seventh holes helped him go 3 under down the stretch. Granger's 74 was his best of the tournament by six shots and was sparked by an early birdie, and front and back nines which he played just 1 over each.
Corfee had a tough front nine, going 7 over but then also played well with a birdie, seven pars and just one bogey the rest of the way.
Marco Iten of Austin Peay State claimed the individual berth to the NCAA Finals in Kansas later this month, posting a three-round total of 8-under 212. He beat Cory Whitsett of Alabama by four shots.
The tournament brings an outstanding UC Davis season to a close. The Aggies won the El Macero Classic in April and then were second at the Big West Championship before placing Hansen on the All-Big West first team and Corfee on the second team. UC Davis' season helped it earn its first-ever at-large berth to the NCAA Regionals in their fourth trip to the regionals overall.
NCAA AUBURN REGIONAL
Auburn, Ala. (hosted by Auburn Univ.)
Auburn University Club
Par 72, 7,254 yards
1. Alabama, 287-284-282-853
2. Kennesaw State, 297-291-287-875
3. Auburn, 294-292-292-878
4. Virginia Tech, 301-291-290-882
5. Texas, 293-300-291-884
6. New Mexico, 302-295-288-885
T7. UNC-Greensboro, 298-296-292-886
T7. BYU, 299-294-293-886
T9. Louisville, 297-305-286-888
T9. UC DAVIS, 300-304-284-888
11. Sam Houston State, 300-303-286-889
12. Colorado, 296-299-306-901
13. Alabama State, 311-303-299-913
14. St. John's, 315-300-303-918
1. Marco Iten, Austin Peay State, 71-70-67-208