May 5, 2014
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis earned its fourth-ever bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship when it received the No. 11 seed for the Auburn Regional on May 15-17, it was announced on Monday morning.
The Aggies picked up their first-ever at-large bid after earning automatic berths as Big West Conference champion in 2009, 2011 and 2012. UC Davis, ranked No. 62 by Golfstat, finished second at this year's wind-shortened conference tournament but held a high enough national ranking to merit selection to the 81-team field.
The NCAA Championship will feature six regionals - three of them with 13 teams and the other three with 14 - along with 45 individuals dispersed among each one. The low five teams and the low individual that's not on an advancing team at each regional will qualify for the national finals scheduled for May 23-28 at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
The Auburn Regional features five teams ranked in the top 25, including defending national champion and top-ranked Alabama. Virginia Tech, ranked 12th, along with No. 13 Texas, No. 23 Auburn and No. 25 New Mexico round out the top five seeded teams. The remaining teams, in seeded order, are No. 36 BYU, No. 37 Kennesaw State, No. 48 Colorado, No. 49 Louisville, No. 60 UNC-Greensboro, UC Davis, Sam Houston State, St. John's and Alabama State. Five individuals were placed in the regional as well.
Head coach Cy Williams said the Aggies selection as an at-large team is historic for the program.
"There are a lot of teams that get in by winning their conference, which you always want to do, but to be selected by the committee means that you truly are one of the top teams in Division I," he said. "Our guys deserve it. They've had some great tournaments this year and if we go out there and perform like we did at Cal's tourament or Bandon Dunes, we're going to be a force to be reckoned with."
The Aggies finished second at both Cal and Bandon Dunes in events that featured high-caliber competition.
UC Davis finished 12th at the Stanford Regional in its most recent appearance in 2012, was 13th in 2009 at the Cal Regional, and was eighth at the Tucson Regional in 2011 as current Aggie senior Matt Hansen captured medalist honors to advance to the national finals. Former UC Davis standout Austin Graham represented the Aggies as an individual at the 2010 Washington Regional.
The Aggies enter this year's regional after taking second at last week's Big West Championship at The Country Club at Soboba Springs. The tournament was halted after 36 holes after tournament officials determined the course unplayable due to high winds in the final round. Cal State Fullerton, which held a two-stroke lead, was declared the winner, and Hansen - who was 8 under and ahead by five strokes - captured first place.
It was Hansen's second straight win after also taking the El Macero Classic the previous week while leading UC Davis to the team title. He's averaging 70.2 strokes to lead the team this season while Ben Corfee (72.6) is second. Luke Vivolo (73.4), Nicolas Noya (73.6) and Joshua Granger (74.7) are the other Aggies playing well who were also at the league tournament. Noya tied for ninth at the event while Corfee tied for 22nd, Vivolo tied for 24th and Granger tied for 32nd.
This is Auburn's third year hosting a regional after also doing so in 1994 and 2003. The Auburn University Club course measures 7,254 yards and will play to a par 72. UC Davis will tee off the first round from the 10th tee on May 15 beginning at 7:10 a.m. (PDT). The Aggies will have a practice round on May 14.
Other regional sites at are being hosted by Missouri, North Carolina State, Northern Illinois, Oregon and UTSA.
NCAA AUBURN REGIONAL
Auburn, Ala. (hosted by Auburn Univ.)
Auburn University Club
Par 72, 7,254 yards
2. Virginia Tech
5. New Mexico
7. Kennesaw State
11. UC DAVIS
12. Sam Houston State
13. St. John's
14. Alabama State
1. Blake Morris, Ole Miss
2. JD Tomlinson, Florida
3. Jared Bettcher, Troy
4. Marco Iten, Austin Peay
5. Theodore Lederhausen, Harvard