Event: NCAA West Region Championships
Where: Stanford University Golf Course – Stanford, Calif.
When: Thursday through Saturday, all day
Who to watch: Freshman Amy Simanton came up just short of an individual title at the Big West Conference Tournament, losing to teammate Chelsea Stelzmiller on the third playoff hole.
Simanton will be primed to make yet another strong push for first in this tournament.
The Lake Oswego, Ore. native is tied for the most rounds played by any Aggie and is averaging a score of just 75.2 strokes per-round.
Did you know? After dominating the Big West Tournament, UC Davis went on to collect a bunch of Big West postseason hardware. Junior Alice Kim took home the Golfer of the Year award. Simanton won freshman of the year while Anne Walker was named coach of the year.
In addition, the Aggies took four of six first-team spots, with Kim, Stelzmiller, Simanton, and freshman Demi Runas all receiving the honor. Senior Kimberly Johnson was named to the second-team.
Preview: UC Davis was able to destroy its competition at the Big West Tournament, but the Aggies will not have as easy of a time keeping their winning ways at Stanford.
The West Region Championships features nine of the nation’s top-25 teams, including No. 1 UCLA. UC Davis is currently ranked No. 31, the 11th highest ranking in a tournament of 27 teams.
The Aggies will need to finish in the top eight to advance to the NCAA Championship Tournament later on this month in Wilmington, N. C.
This weekend will mark only the second time UC Davis has played in the Division I regionals. The previous occurrence was in 2008, when the Aggies advanced to the national championship tournament by winning a playoff against both Stanford and Ohio State.
Kim and Stelzmiller both played in that tournament and will be hungry for another chance at a national title.
With the help of some new faces they just might be able to repeat that feat.
Freshmen stars Runas and Simanton have been integral parts of the Aggie team this entire season. Between them they have seven top-five and 11 top-ten finishes.
UC Davis will need all of their golfers to be on top of their game to be successful in Stanford.
– Trevor Cramer