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Friday, July 12, 2024

Women’s golf nails second straight conference title

The UC Davis women’s golf trophy case is getting a little crowded.

The Aggies won their second straight Big West Conference team title, toppling the competition en route to a tournament-record 54-hole total of 3-over 867.

Coach Anne Walker, in just her third year as the UC Davis coach, was very pleased with the week’s results.

“It feels awesome to win two times in a row,” Walker said. “I feel so happy and very satisfied.”

Despite a slow start at the Championships, the No. 19 Aggies controlled the event all week on their way to the 18-stroke victory.

Senior Alice Kim took the individual title, shooting a nine-under 2007, setting the individual record for the Big West Championships.

Walker was incredibly proud of the way Kim performed all weekend.

“I could not be happier for [Kim],” Walker said. “That honor could not go to a more deserving person. She works so hard and sets the bar so high as far as work ethic.”

The Aggies had four people finish in the top-10 overall. Walker says this shows the overall depth of UC Davis’ roster. Sophomore Demi Runas finished third overall. Last year’s individual winner Chelsea Stelzmiller finished sixth, with sophomore Amy Simanton rounding out the top-10. Freshman Jessica Chulya finished 16th for the Aggies.

Before the event, Walker discussed that in order for UC Davis to come away victorious, it had to stay within its means. That’s exactly what it did.

“We stayed focused on what we can control,” Walker said. “Long Beach State played awesome on the first day, but we stayed focused on what we wanted to accomplish and we did so.”

This is the 10th Big West team title won by UC Davis since joining the conference. The women’s golf squad joins the women’s basketball team as the only UC Davis squad to win a team title twice.

Walker said this year’s title felt sweeter due to the increased level of competition this time around.

“Long Beach State is a lot better this year,” Walker said. “For us, this year was a much better overall performance.”

With the conference title, the Aggies are guaranteed a spot in the NCAA Regionals from May 5 to 7. UC Davis has salready clinched a spot due to its national ranking.

Walker said NCAA Regionals are a totally different thing from the Big West Championships.

“NCAA Regionals is a whole other deal,” Walker said. “Once we get to regionals, everything changes.”

JASON ALPERT can be reached at sports@theaggie.org.

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