July 31, 2012
DAVIS, Calif. - Matt Hansen is headed to his fourth straight U.S. Amateur Championship, an unprecedented feat in amateur golf, after finishing second overall with a score of 5-under 139 at a qualifying tournament on Monday at Juniper Golf Course in Redmond, Ore.
Hansen has advanced to every U.S. Amateur since 2009, two years prior to his first season as a UC Davis men's golfer. He qualified again in 2010, then returned after a standout freshman season in 2011, marking the first time in program history that an Aggie golfer advance to three straight US Amateurs. His fourth consecutive trip to the tournament comes after a standout performance that saw him finish just one stroke back of the individual medalist.
The junior-to-be was even through his first nine holes, alternating between birdies and bogeys on four of his first five holes. A birdie on the par-5 seventh hole dropped him to one under, but he bogeyed on his final hole of the front nine to finish even as he turned the corner.
He turned in a dominant performance on his back nine with birdies on the first two holes to move to two under. He parred the next four straight holes before his sixth birdie of the day put him at three under. Hansen closed out with back-to-back pars to remain at 3-under 69.
Hansen continued his strong play as the second round got underway with pars on five straight holes to open. He improved to five under with consecutive birdies on holes six and seven, then two additional par shots kept him at five under through the front nine.
Another birdie, his ninth of the tournament, opened Hansen's back nine to push him to six under. He parred the next four straight holes before a bogey, his first in 24 holes, put him back at five under. He closed with three straight pars to finish just shy of first place at five under.
Daniel Pow of Calgary, Canada earned medalist honors, carding 10 birdies over his two rounds to post consecutive 69s and edge out Hansen.
Hansen will join Aggie teammate Tyler Raber at the 2012 U.S. Amateur Championship which will be held Aug. 13-19 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Raber captured the third and final qualifying spot in a 36-hole sectional qualifier at the Marin Country Club in Novato on July 17. He finished in a four-way tie for third, edging out three other players after two playoff holes to seal his trip to the U.S. Amateur.