Senior Raber key for UC Davis
Senior Tyler Raber figures to play a key role for UC Davis as it tries for a third straight Big West Championship later this month.
And if the Aggies can get a performance out of Raber similar to the one he showcased at the Stanford U.S. Intercollegiate, three in a row could go from being a good possibility to a safe bet.
Raber shot a 5-under 65 in the final round March 30 to cap off his best individual finish of the season, finishing third, five shots back of winner Paul Barjon of TCU and two back of runner-up Patrick Rodgers of Stanford.
“Tyler Raber had an amazing tournament,” UC Davis coach Cy Williams said. “It was a really strong, national field and he crushed it.”
He beat notables Andrew Yun and David Boote of Stanford, Julien Brun and Pontus Gad of TCU, Anthony Paolucci and Yi Keun Chang of USC, and St. Mary’s Ben Geyer – all while helping UC Davis to a fifth-place showing, its most impressive team finish of the season. The Aggies, ranked No. 64 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, bested a handful of higher-ranked teams – including No. 10 USC, No. 31 Northwestern and No. 43 Oregon.
Raber, a senior who redshirted last season and previous to that was a first-team All-Conference selection his junior year, has played in all 24 rounds for UC Davis this season and leads the team in scoring average with two tournaments left before the conference championship.
His results haven’t been great, though. A T-7 at the SCVB Pacific Invitational in October had been Raber’s previous season-best finish. That was his only top 10 of the season before Stanford. He’s also had finishes of T-22, T-34, T-60 and T-39 this season.
But Raber has the potential. He made it to the Round of 16 of last summer’s British Amateur, was medalist at the Trans-Mississippi Championship and played in last year’s U.S. Amateur – so he’s got the game.
And if his final round at Stanford is any indication, he’s peaking at the right time.
Information from UC Davis Athletics used in this report.