On Monday, the UC Davis women’s golf team patiently awaited the news on whether or not it would receive an at-large bid to compete in the NCAA Championships.
Last season, UC Davis earned that same at-large bid, going on to have a magical run in the tournament and finish 21st place in the country.
It was the first year of Division I eligibility for the unranked Aggies, who were dubbed a “Cinderella” by then-head coach Kathy DeYoung.
Fast forward to this season. Led by new head coach Anne Walker, UC Davis finished in the top 10 in nine of its 10 tournaments, including three straight second-place finishes to cap the year.
Despite the seemingly awesome season, the Aggies learned Monday that they would be left out of the 63-team field, losing out on a chance to compete with the best golf teams in the nation.
Even though the team was out, two Aggies were in.
Sophomores Chelsea Stelzmiller and Alice Kim were selected as individuals to play in the NCAA Golf Championship West Regional at ASU Karsten Golf Course.
“Alice and Chelsea have been pillars of this program for the past two years,“ Walker said. “They deserve the recognition as two of the nation‘s top players.“
Stelzmiller finished the season with eight top-10 finishes, improving upon her 2008 total by one – a total that saw her earn Big West Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors.
The Union Mine High graduate averaged 73.8 per round this season and was named to the All-Big West first team for the second time in as many years.
Kim paced the Aggies this season with a stellar 73.6 average through 12 tournaments and over 30 rounds of golf. The Walnut, Calif. native shot her career-best round for the Aggies on Sept. 29, 2008, when she fired a 5-under 67 at the 6,211-yard Omni Interlocken Resort course.
Kim, like Stelzmiller, was also named an All-Big West first team selection for the second straight year in recognition of her first-rate season.
MATT MILLER can be reached at email@example.com.