It was finally the Aggies’ year.
They had missed out on a Big West Conference Title their first two years as a Division I school, but they would not be denied the crown for a third straight season.
“Winning the Big West was our goal all year long,” said coach Anne Walker.
UC Davis won the tournament by 19 strokes, and their domination was a microcosm of their season.
One of the main reasons the Aggies were the best team in the conference was their team depth.
All nine of UC Davis’ participating golfers averaged under 80-stroke per-round, and each of them had at least one top-20 finish this season.
“Usually you hope to have five strong golfers,” Walker said. “This year we had nine players who could tee it up and perform well. It makes the team more confident and they push each other to shoot better.”
The Aggies’ strength in numbers was also recognized in the Big West Awards. Alice Kim, Chelsea Stelzmiller, Amy Simanton and Demi Runas were named First Team Big West with Kimberly Johnson named second-team. In addition, Kim was named Big West Golfer of the Year, Simanton Big West Freshman of the Year and Walker Big West Coach of the Year.
With a roster like the Aggies, it is easy to see why UC Davis was ranked in the top-25 nationally for much of the season.
The Aggies expect big things again next year.
UC Davis is losing just three players, and their young golfers now have the experience of winning a conference title.
“We have incredible leadership coming back and lots of young talent,” Walker said. “Next season we should be as good as or possibly better than we were this year.”
TREVOR CRAMER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.