Natalie Sheary of Wake Forest won three of four holes on the front nine before holding off a rally by UC Davis‘ Alice Kim to post a 3-and-2 win in the first round of match play at the 2009 U.S. Women’s Amateur Championship at Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis on Wednesday.
Kim, an NCAA Division I All-America honorable mention for the women’s golf team this past season, advanced to match play competition after tying for 18th after 36 holes of stroke play on Monday and Tuesday. Sheary advances to Thursday’s round of 32 at the USGA Championship Tournament. Kim was participating in match play for the second straight year.
The players were even through the first three holes on Tuesday after carding pars on each. However, a birdie by Sheary on the par-4 fourth hole helped her take a lead. Consecutive birdies on the sixth and seventh holes gave her a 3-up advantage. Sheary still led by three before Kim captured the 11th and 13th holes – getting a birdie on the latter – to get within one. Sheary then clinched the match by winning the 15th and 16th holes.
Kim, from Walnut, Calif., was one of three Aggies participating in the tournament. Junior Chelsea Stelzmiller and senior Lauren Dobashi were each eliminated after stroke competition.
The National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) honored eight UC Davis student-athletes as part of its Scholastic All-America awards program. Additionally, the women’s gymnastics team ranked 14th overall in team grade-point average for the 2008-2009 academic year.
Alphabetically, the UC Davis recipients are: senior Andi Dolinsky, sophomore Ashley Lachman, freshman Betsy Lim, junior Kendall McCann, sophomore Marcy Miller, sophomore Stacey Nicolini, senior Christine Tao and freshman Erika Van Dyke. As a team, UC Davis compiled a GPA of 3.4447, just one-thousandth of a point behind 13th-ranked Missouri.
The two freshmen, Lim and Van Dyke, each finished with 4.0 GPAs during their first year at UC Davis.
To earn selection to the individual Scholar-Athlete roll, gymnasts must appear on the official NCAA squad list on January 1 and post a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or better during that academic year.
The totality of accomplishments continues a string of academic awards for the gymastics program and head coach John Lavallee. UC Davis led the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in academic all-conference winners, then captured the school’s Marya Welch Award for boasting the highest GPA among the Aggie women’s teams.
The UC Davis women’s gymnastics team opens its 2010 season on January 10 in a home quadrangular with Cal State Fullerton, San Jose State and Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Aggie Digest is compiled by the California Aggie sports staff with briefs from the UC Davis athletics website, ucdavisaggies.com.