A strong final two days of competition was not enough to dig out of the hole the Aggies had dug for themselves after the first round.
The UC Davis women’s golf program put together strong performances of 295 and 297 strokes in the second and third rounds, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to negate the 305 they shot on the first day.
Anne Walker, coach of No. 23 UC Davis, had said prior to the tournament that the team would have to play well at Colorado National Golf Club in order to qualify for the NCAA Championships.
“We are in such a tough region and we played pretty average, but the field was strong,” she said. “There are so many good teams in the west region that I wouldn’t even call it unexpected.”
The Aggies were tied for 18th of 24 teams after the first day with a subpar 305 that could be attributed to the playing conditions, but Walker would not make excuses.
“The tough weather was difficult but we played better in the worse conditions,” she said. “The first day, we didn’t adjust to the elevation but that is our own responsibility.”
A 295 the second round was the fifth best score in the field that day and put the Aggies in a tie for 11th place entering the third day of competition.
UC Davis shot a 297 in the third round to conclude its performance at the NCAA West Regionals. The Aggies placed 12th in the field where the top eight teams advanced to the NCAA Championship Tournament.
“We had such a good year but nationals is never a given and you have to play really well at the regional,” Walker said. “It would be more disappointing if we played really bad but we had some great rounds and that one blow up round.”
Amy Simanton shot two-under in the second round and one-under in the third to place her in a tie for 14th. The one-hole playoff for an individual spot in the NCAA Championships did not go in her favor, however, and the junior just barely missed a chance to extend her season.
Simanton shot a three over for the tournament to lead UC Davis, but it was a different player each day for the Aggies.
Freshman Blair Lewis fired a two-under on the second day and junior Demi Runas’s 74 was the best for the Aggies in the first round.
“We weren’t satisfied with the 305 from the first day and it was a bummer Demi [Runas] wasn’t playing her best because we know how good she can be,” Walker said. “But the future is great since all five of them showed they can compete and they’re coming back next year.”
Walker is not too disappointed by the team’s 897 total and has an optimistic mindset following the conclusion of the Aggies’ season.
“The whole season is not defined by one tournament and I’m focusing on what we’ve done throughout the year,” Walker said. “As a coach I’m pumped because there are so many positives I’m taking from this.”
Matthew Yuen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.