Event: Big West Conference Championships
Where: Tijeras Creek Golf Course – Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
When: Monday and Tuesday, all day.
Who to watch: Senior Chelsea Steltzmiller has some big expectations entering this week’s event.
The Placerville, Calif. native won the individual title at last year’s Big West Conference Championships. Coach Anne Walker said Steltzmiller’s experience will be key for UC Davis this weekend.
“She’s been there and done that before,” Walker said. “That creates a comfort level among the underclassmen.”
Did you know? Regardless of what happens at this weekend’s event, the Aggies are guaranteed a trip to the NCAA West Regionals.
UC Davis’ current ranking, according to GolfStat, is high enough for the team to qualify for Regionals. Walker said her team will still play its best this week in anticipation for Regionals.
Preview: The Aggies are swinging with a bulls-eye on their backs this week.
The UC Davis women’s golf team enters this week’s Big West Championships as the defending title-holders, and, according to Walker, every team in the league will be gunning for the Aggies.
“The other teams want to beat us,” Walker said. “That’s a totally different mentality. Rarely do we go to a tournament and everyone wants to beat us. We need to focus on what we can control.”
Especially for this week’s event, Walker wants her team to only worry about its game.
“We need to focus on what we have and do the best we can with our resources,” Walker said. “It can be easy to get caught up in the competitors, but we’re competing this year as one of the biggest names in college sports.”
Walker said the Aggies’ biggest competition this weekend will be Long Beach State, UC Irvine and Cal Poly.
The course on which the event will take place – The Tijeras Creek Golf Course – is relatively unfamiliar for UC Davis. As a team, the Aggies have never played there, while a couple of their biggest foes, UC Irvine and Long Beach State, have.
Nonetheless, Walker believes the biggest thing in the Aggies’ favor is their experience. All but one of the five golfers UC Davis will send this week were a part of last year’s conference-winning team.
– Jason Alpert