Sept. 15, 2013
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BREMERTON, Wash. - After narrowly missing a berth to the NCAA Championships last season, the UC Davis men's golf team begins its goal to return to the postseason when it opens the 2013-14 season on Monday at the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational at the University of Washington.
Fifteen teams are entered in the two-day, 54-hole tournament which will be played at Gold Mountain Golf Club. Teams will open play with 36 holes of competition on Monday with a final 18 holes scheduled for Tuesday.
UC Davis will begin teeing off at 9 a.m. on Monday and will play with Washington State and Pepperdine. The Aggies' quintet will be comprised of senior Matt Hansen, sophomore Luke Vivolo, junior Mike Brockington, senior Jonny Baxter and senior Josh Granger.
UC Davis will be looking to start this season in similar fashion to last year when it went to the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational and finished fourth. Hansen led the way by tying for 11th while Baxter tied for 22nd and Brockington tied for 30th.
The tournament is the first of four this fall for the Aggies who will travel to Northwestern for the Windon Memorial next week, play in the Alister MacKenzie hosted by Cal in October, and then will return to the Pacific Invitational in Stockton beginning on Halloween.
Six events make up the spring portion of the schedule including The Prestige at PGA WEST - which UC Davis hosts with Stanford - and the Winchester Classic in April, co-hosted with Nevada.
The Aggies finished third at the Big West Championships last spring as they tried to three-peat at the league tournament and to return to the NCAA Championships for the third straight year. Ranked among the top 70 teams, UC Davis was edged for an at-large berth in the regional. Graduated senior Tyler Raber represented the Aggies with an individual berth.
Hansen leads the Aggie lineup after earning All-Big West Conference second-team honors for the third straight in 2012-13. He was second on the team in scoring last year and finished in the top 20 five times.
Baxter earned All-Big West honorable mention accolades, averaging 73.6 strokes through his 11 tournaments last year, third-best on the team. Brockington helped highlight his sophomore season with a pair of 70s in the Aggies' two first tournaments.
Vivolo and Granger both redshirted last year. Vivolo gained considerable experience during his true freshman season in 2011-12, playing in all 30 of the team's rounds, one of only two players along with Baxter to do so.
Granger played each of his first three seasons before redshirting. He enjoyed his best season in 2011-12, finishing as the top UC Davis player in three tournaments and ending the season with a 74.5 average.
Besides UC Davis, Washington State, Pepperdine and host Washington, other teams competing this week including Arizona State, BYU, Gonzaga, Oregon, Oregon State, Pacific, San Diego, San Diego State, USC, Saint Mary's and Utah.