UC Davis women’s golf concludes season at NCAA tournament

The UC Davis women’s golf team wrapped up an outstanding season after finishing outside of the top eight in the NCAA West Regional. The Aggies were led in the tournament by sophomore Betty Chen, freshman Paige Lee and junior Blair Lewis who each finished in 44th place.

UC Davis came into the tournament ranked 37th in the country and seeded 13th in their region that featured four top-10 teams.

The first day of the tournament provided several highlights for the Aggies. They finished the day in seventh place, with each of their five golfers having their strongest day of the weekend.

Chen gave UC Davis its best score, shooting a 2-over 74, but the highlight of the day belonged to Lewis who hit a hole-in-one on the 17th hole. The shot, which happened on a par-3, 165 yard hole, helped her finish the day with a strong 4-over 76. As a team, the Aggies shot a 12-over 300 which put them ahead of several teams above them in the rankings.

Entering the second day tentatively within the top eight, the Aggies seemed to fumble an opportunity to push up the leaderboards. Lee gave UC Davis its best score with a 4-over 76, giving her and Chen the highest scores for the Aggies at 7-over to that point. Junior Beverly Vatananagulkit failed to perform at her normally high standard, finishing the second day with an 11-over 83.

The Aggies’ poor play on the second day moved them back on the leaderboard to No. 11. Still, only three shots separated them from eighth place, giving UC Davis ample opportunity to recover the position with a solid final day.

Unfortunately, the final day proved to be more of the same for the Aggies. Four UC Davis golfers shot in the 80s while Lewis shot a team leading 6-over 78, leaving her in a three-way tie with Chen and Lee for 44th place. The team fell to 12th place for the tournament, ending their season earlier than many hoped.

The good news for the Aggies is that they are returning all of their starters, including three All-Big West First Team award winners.

“We competed with some great teams and what we learn from this event, as well as this season, will only make us a better team going forward,” said coach Anna Temple.

The Aggies already look like favorites to win their sixth consecutive Big West Championship next season.

RYAN REED can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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