April 26, 2014
SAN JACINTO, Calif. - The UC Davis men's golf team goes after its third Big West Championship over the past four years when the Aggies open play at the conference tournament on Sunday morning at the Country Club of Soboba Springs.
The Aggies won the Big West title in their second appearance in 2009 and then won back-to-back banners in 2011 and 2012. UC Davis finished a close third to Pacific and Cal State Fullerton, which tied for first place, last year.
This season, the Aggies enter as the second seed and will begin play at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. They'll play the first round with top-seeded Cal State Fullerton and third-seeded UC Irvine. Cal Poly, Long Beach State, UC Santa Barbara, Hawaii, UC Riverside and Cal State Northridge round out the championship field.
The winner of the tournament claims an automatic berth into the NCAA Championships next month.
The 54-hole tournament, which consists of 18-hole rounds on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, is being played on the par-72, 7,317-yard Country Club of Soboba Springs course for the second straight year.
"We know the course and the kind of shots it presents," said Aggie head coach Cy Williams. "Those are what we've been preparing for this week."
UC Davis will look to Matt Hansen, Joshua Granger, Luke Vivolo, Ben Corfee and Nicolas Noya this week. That's the same quintet that delivered the Aggies a dominating victory at last week's El Macero Classic. Hansen led the way with a two-stroke win, claiming his second tournament title as an Aggie. He tied for fifth at last year's Big West Championship.
The Aggies won last week's title on its home course by 16 strokes over Cal State Fullerton. It was UC Davis' first team title since its last Big West championship.
"We put the win behind us and we're getting ready for this week," Williams said.
Hansen has a 70.4 scoring average to lead the UC Davis and has posted at least one score in the 60s in each of his last eight tournaments. He was 6 under at the El Macero Classic.
Granger has come on strong this string with 13th-place finishes in each of his last two tournaments. Vivolo was sixth last week after opening with two strong rounds of 70 and 68, Corfee had a 3-under 69 in last week's second round, and Noya had a career-best tie for sixth.
The Aggies have finished in the top three of the Big West Championship in five of its six appearances.